Giving a whole new meaning to the term "green grocer," the U.K.-based grocer and retail chain Tesco is installing what's believed to be the world's largest roof-mounted, solar energy system on a distribution center being built in the United States. The panels will sit atop the new Tesco USA distribution center scheduled to open in Riverside, Calif., in a few months.
It appears that Tesco takes the whole carbon footprint thing literally. The solar panel system will cover 500,000 of the building's 640,000 square feet of roof space. (That's the equivalent of more than eight NFL regulation size football fields.)
Tesco, which is the United Kingdom's largest grocer and the world's fourth-largest retail chain, is investing some $13 million in the environmentally friendly energy system. The system is being built and installed by Solar Integrated, a Los Angeles-based company that manufactures, designs and installs solar energy roofing systems for non-residential, low-slope rooftops. Solar Integrated's president and CEO, R. Randall MacEwen, says he's seeing more and more interest from companies like Tesco that are looking for ways to measure and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.