Intel Plans 8 Solar Power Installations

Intel is installing solar panels at eight locations in four Western states as part of its larger power conservation program. The new solar panel installations will generate about 2.5 megawatts of power and will all be online within the next seven months. The infrastructure announcement coincides with Intel being named the country's top purchaser of green energy by the EPA.

Intel in 2010 will continue its push to increase the proportion of renewable energy used in its global operations.

The chip maker is installing new solar panels at eight locations throughout the Western United States that will generate about 2.5 megawatts of power.

All eight solar power installations in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Oregon will be online within the next seven months, according to Intel officials.

To take a look at the planned solar panel installations, click here.

The new installations are part of a broader initiative by Intel to increase its use of alternative energy sources, such as wind, geothermal and biomass, and reduce its carbon footprint.

The company also is investing in "cleantech" businesses.

"Intel is committed to renewable energy to reduce our own carbon footprint as well as to spur the market and make renewables more economically feasible for individuals and businesses to deploy," Brian Krzanich, vice president and general manager of manufacturing and supply chain for Intel, said in a statement.

All but one of the eight installations will have solar panels on the roofs of buildings. At the Folsom, Calif., site, the panels will be clustered into a 1-megawatt solar field that will cover almost 6 acres of land on the Intel campus.

The company kicked off its conservation program in 2001, and has since saved more than 650 million kilowatt hours worldwide.

Intel's announcement Jan. 25 came at the same time that it was named by the Environmental Protection Agency as the No. 1 voluntary buyer of green power, buying more than 1.4 billion kilowatt hours.

Other technology companies also made it onto the EPA's Green Power Partnership top 50 list. Dell was No. 6, with more than 431 million kilowatt hours of green energy purchased.

Cisco Systems was ranked eighth, Sprint Nextel was 40th, Sony was 44th, Motorola 46th and Advanced Micro Devices 48th.

In addition to spending more than $30 million since 2001 on its own renewable energy projects, Intel Capital-the chip maker's investment arm-has invested more than $125 million in more than a dozen cleantech companies, including $10 million in five companies in July 2009.