McCormick & Co. announced in April its 363,000-sq.-ft. distribution center in Belcamp, Md., now generates more electricity than it uses. The spice company said net-zero was achieved through energy conservation measures plus the installation of a 1.8-megawatt rooftop solar power system from Constellation Energy in 2011. Constellation Energy, a business unit of Exelon, owns and operates more than 100 megawatts of solar installations in the U.S.
"During a five-year period we were able to reduce electricity use at Belcamp by 55 percent through energy efficient interior and exterior lighting, occupancy sensors, HVAC upgrades and energy-efficient pallet conveyors,” said Jeff Blankman, sustainable manufacturing manager for McCormick. “With the addition of hosting solar power, the facility generated a surplus of more than 16,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity in a one-year period. McCormick's Belcamp distribution center reinforces that net-zero energy use is achievable and affordable for large commercial buildings."
Constellation Energy also built, owns and maintains a nearly 1-megawatt solar installation at McCormick's Spice Mill in Hunt Valley, Md., and a smaller solar installation at McCormick's corporate headquarters building in Sparks, Md. McCormick purchases all of the electricity generated by the solar panels at less than current market rates under separate 20-year power purchase agreements.