have 24/7 operations that require constant
power quality and on-site renewables may
not guarantee that kind of reliability. There
can be complications with regional utilities understanding the mutual benefit of a
proposed project as well.
What are your goals for 2016?
Bigger, faster, smarter – we want to do
more. We just committed to the White
House American Business Act on Climate
Pledge to triple our alternative energy
program by 2020. We will need to come
up with 80 new projects to fulfill that
promise. We’ve also committed to remaining 100% green powered through 2020
and will continue to meet this benchmark
with RECs and on-site installations.
Right now, we’re in the middle of installing a 6. 5 MW solar array over the parking
lots at our Folsom, CA campus. This will
cover 2,500 stalls in a location that has
high temperatures, which will be an added
perk for employees.
We are also working on digital displays
that can share solar generation information in real time. These will help us increase
awareness about our initiatives to employees and visitors. We will be enhancing
these over the upcoming quarters.
How do you keep communication open
between staff across multiple sites?
We meet and we share. More impor-
tantly, we don’t sandbox and keep things
to ourselves. When we have successes,
we talk about them. What we’re doing is
not a competitive secret, either internally
or externally. We use everything from
online blogs and webcasts to face-to-face
visits to stay connected.
Our Sustainability in Action grant program also allows employees to apply for
funding for their ideas for green projects.
We’ve funded projects addressing issues
such as energy efficiency and rainwater
harvesting, as well as creative suggestions
like adding beehives to properties.
What advice do you have for building
owners on how to support their opera-
tions with clean energy sources?
Get started – it’s really as simple as
that. If you don’t take the first steps, you
won’t get anywhere. And if your steps
are off, then readjust. It’ll be a continual
You also have to realize that renewable
energy isn’t an all-or-nothing solution.
Don’t feel obligated to feed all of a building’s electricity with renewables. You
might have a facility that needs 100 MW
so you start by putting in 1 MW of clean
power – it’s OK to offset a portion of your
demand rather than all of it. Growing your
renewable energy mix is like saving for
retirement – small efforts will grow over
time to ultimately meet your goals.
INTEL HAS BEEN THE LARGEST
voluntary purchaser of green power
in the U.S. since 2008 and has supplied 100% of its stateside operations
with green power since 2013, notes
the EPA. Intel is currently using more
than 3.1 billion k Wh of green power
annually, which is equivalent to the
demand of nearly 295,000 average
American homes. This solar array
(left) doubles as a carport at the Intel
campus in Chandler, AZ. A similar
installation is in the works for the
Folsom, CA facility.
territories, you may not have the opportunity to buy green energy directly from
the utility or at a reasonable price. On-site
renewable projects may be limited by
space, capital and time. RECs are a simple
and quick way to buy renewable power,
support the technology, demonstrate
industry leadership and influence others to
support clean energy.
But we haven’t stopped there. RECs
should be just one source of renewable
power in your portfolio. Intel has approximately 18 solar projects, several fuel cells,
and provides over 100 EV stations for
employees. We just installed 60 wind
microturbines on the top parapet walls
of our corporate headquarters in Santa
Clara, CA. Globally, we have 45 alternative
energy sites across 8 countries, 6 states
and 20 campuses that are using 11 technologies and applications.
We also recently deployed a solar-battery storage-grid-tied EV fast charger,
which combines power from multiple
sources into batteries that will charge EVs
when the sun isn’t out. It’s a really exciting
advancement and has a lot of potential to
solve a common barrier for solar.
What is your biggest challenge with
greening Intel’s energy mix?
I wish it was just one! It really depends
on the strategy we’re trying to implement.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t say it’s often economics. It’s a challenge to decide what is
the best way to spend our money and then
secure good returns from an investment.
We also face logistical constraints.
Sometimes a property doesn’t have
enough space to install a viable system.
We have a number of large facilities where
demand is upwards of 150 MW – a PV
system would have to be impossibly large
“THESE MICROTURBINES ON THE ROOF perimeter of our corporate headquarters
are one of the largest arrays of its type in the world. We’re stating boldly and clearly
that we support renewable energy and climate improvement,” says Sedler.