New Facility Qualifies for Platinum Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Program

October 5, 2010 by | Comments

Merritt Island, FL, October 5, 2010 — NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC), located on the East coast of Florida, this week began installation of a Sharp 79 kilowatt solar array on the new Propellants North Facility. The solar array will provide the facility with enough clean, renewable energy to completely power the facility with zero net energy consumption and zero carbon emissions annually. The Propellants North Facility will also qualify for the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, Platinum certification. Platinum is the highest certification a LEED facility can achieve, and the NASA facility will be one of fewer than 150 Platinum-certified buildings in the country.

The solar array includes 336 Sharp solar panels, each manufactured in Sharp’s Memphis TN plant and each producing 235 watts of clean energy. The majority of the array will be roof mounted on the curved aluminum roofing system, utilizing next generation standing seam aluminum clamps, eliminating the need for any other structural connections and roof penetrations. The remainder of the Sharp array is utilized as the power source for Kennedy’s first solar powered electric vehicle charging station. The new facility’s parking lot will house a solar panel covered canopy with six 240v electric vehicle charging stations for use by NASA’s fleet of electric vehicles.

“We are pleased to be a part of such a forward-thinking project as the Propellants North Facility at KSC. LEED Platinum certification highlights NASA’s commitment to green building and clean energy. Sharp is delighted to be a part of the team that assists NASA and helps pass the energy savings on to the taxpayer,” said Eric Hafter, senior vice president, Sharp Solar Energy Solutions Group.

“NASA always has been about high efficiency and sustainability. Over the past 50 years NASA has been in the forefront of cutting edge solar technology for use in space.” said Frank Kline, project manager for the Propellants North Facility. “While part of NASA’s mission is to discover and explore other planets, the Propellants North Facility reflects our commitment to taking care of planet Earth too,” he said.

The Propellants North Facility at NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center will use Sharp’s 235-watt solar modules designed for commercial grid-tied roof systems. Sharp’s NU-235F1 solar module incorporates an advanced surface texturing process to increase light absorption and improve efficiency. Designed to withstand rigorous operating conditions, this module offers high power output per square foot of solar array.

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