Cisco goes solar…. again

Did you know that every hour the sun beams onto Earth more than enough energy to satisfy global energy needs for an entire year? Or that solar energy produces little to no greenhouse gasses? Clearly, solar power has the potential to reduce our reliance on other forms of energy, but how does an energy-intensive business like Cisco harness it?

Cisco is taking up the challenge in a number of ways:

1. They recently installed a 264-kilowatt roof-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) system at our data center in Richardson, Texas. (Solar PV systems convert sunlight into electricity and can be used to power just about anything that uses electricity from homes and businesses to cars and of course, IT equipment!). This particular system will produce approximately 370,000 kilowatt hours annually, equivalent to the annual electricity use of 30 U.S. homes.

The system uses 1,078 solar panels that cover over 35,000 square feet of roof space — if laid end to end, they would stretch out over 1 mile long!

Cisco also has two other 100-kilowatt solar PV systems installed at data centers in Allen, Texas and Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Starting in 2014, they will expand the existing system in Texas by an additional 339 kilowatts and install their largest solar system to date in Bangalore, India: a 940-kilowatt roof-mounted system covering 7 of our campus buildings. Both of these projects are expected to be completed by July 2014, which will quadruple company-wide onsite solar capacity to more than 1.7 megawatts, equal to the annual electricity use of approximately 206 U.S. homes.

Cisco recently set a series of new corporate energy and sustainability goals and will be implementing multiple energy efficiency and renewable energy projects between now and their 2017 goal year.

Reporting via Andy Smith, Cisco’s Global Sustainability Manager

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