Intel found a second use for its Ocotillo Campus parking lot in Chandler by installing a 7.7 megawatt solar carport array over 3,200 of its parking spaces.
The solar carports provide enough energy to power about 1,160 American homes through the course of the year and will be used as part of Intel’s energy mix for its Ocotillo plant. The carports also provide shade for the thousands of cars parked at Intel each day, which as any Arizonan knows is a big plus.
This solar carport array is considered the second largest of its kind in the country, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, and is the largest in Arizona. The top ranking solar carport installation in the U.S. is also owned by Intel and is at its Folsom campus near Sacramento in California.
There are now nearly 30,000 solar modules on Intel’s Chandler campus.
Intel has been a long time leader of renewable and sustainable energy, said Carlos Contreras, regional public affairs director at Intel.
“We’ve been doing sustainability projects on this campus since we started,” Contreras added. Intel started with creating recycling water projects on the campus, which was built in 1996.
As solar prices have come down, Intel started approaching more opportunities to add solar capacity to its energy portfolio, Contreras said.
Intel is looking at adding a larger solar installation to the property as well, he added.
Intel’s Ocotillo Campus currently has 11,000 employees and is the second largest facility Intel has in the U.S.
In February, Intel announced that it would invest $7 billion into the Chandler campus to finish its Fab 42 factory, which will produce the next generation of semiconductors. Intel states that its Fab 42 factory will utilize the most advanced semiconductor manufacturing process in the world.
The Fab 42 factory will add an additional 3,000 jobs to the area. Intel is already the largest employer in Chandler.