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Solar array switched on

A 1.8 MW (DC) ground-mounted solar array has been completed, located at the Huber Engineered Materials (HEM) fire-retardant additives Marblehead facility in Quincy, Illinois.

The plant is now receiving more than 60 percent of its power from the array during daylight hours, as part of the state-administered Illinois Shines incentive program, which supports the development of new solar energy generation throughout the state.

Constructing the solar array supports Huber's enterprise-wide goal of reducing energy and water use intensity and CO2 emissions by 10 percent by 2022, explained Don Young, Huber's executive vice president of environment, health, safety and sustainability. We are extremely proud of the entire team at the Marblehead facility for their commitment and hard work on this project.

Comprising more than 4,900 photovoltaic panels, the solar array is expected to produce 2.4mn kW hours of energy annually. According to estimates from the US Environmental Protection Agency, generating the same amount of electricity using non-renewable sources would result in the release of nearly 1,700 metric tons of carbon dioxide, or the equivalent emissions avoided by removing more than 350 passenger vehicles from the road.

HEM will purchase the electricity generated by the array through a 15-year, fixed-rate solar power purchase agreement with Luminace, a Brookfield Renewable company. The fixed rate will provide resilience against price fluctuations.

HEM president Dan Krawczyk said that the project reflects a broader initiative within the company to lighten its global environmental footprint, which includes the replacement of a coal-fired power plant in Germany with an energy-efficient gas unit.