Wayne, NJ — Toys “R” Us, Inc. plans to add the largest rooftop solar power installation in North America to its distribution center in Flanders, N.J.
Wayne, NJ — Toys “R” Us, Inc. plans to add the largest rooftop solar power installation in North America to its distribution center in Flanders, N.J. Staging for the system is currently underway and construction will conclude this summer. Upon completion, the 5.38 megawatt on-site solar mechanism will occupy 869,294 square feet and is estimated to generate 72% of the electrical needs for the Toys “R” Us® facility.
This solar power installation will cover nearly 70% of the distribution center’s 1,281,000-square-foot roof and will consist of more than 37,000 ultra lightweight UNI-SOLAR® brand photovoltaic solar panels, manufactured by United Solar, a wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices. Depending on weather conditions, the system is expected to produce approximately 6,362,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year. Generating the same amount of electricity using non-renewable sources would result in the release of an estimated 4,387 metric tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent emissions from 860 passenger vehicles or that of the electricity used to power 532 homes annually.
Constellation Energy, a leading supplier of power, natural gas and energy products and services for homes and businesses across the continental United States, will build, own and maintain the rooftop solar power system. Toys “R” Us will purchase the electricity generated by the system from Constellation Energy through a 20-year power purchase agreement.
The 20-acre rooftop solar installation at the Flanders distribution center utilizes space that would otherwise go unused and has been designed to meet the facility’s energy needs. The solar power system is comprised of thin-film photovoltaic panels that are flexible, lightweight, durable and maintain performance, even in sub-optimal lighting conditions. In addition, the non-ballasted, non-penetrating and removable racking system allows access to the roof and prevents debris buildup and maintenance issues.
The Toys “R” Us facility in Flanders, N.J., is the largest of the company’s 10 national distribution centers and covers over 1.5 million square feet, in addition to the roof, which spans 32 acres. The facility supports replenishment and fulfillment needs for Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us® locations throughout the Northeast.
Beyond the solar project in Flanders, N.J., the company is making a number of sustainable upgrades to its existing stores around the country and incorporating renewable and energy efficient features into its new locations. In January 2010, a rooftop solar power system was installed at the Babies “R” Us in North Brunswick, N.J., through a partnership with the developer. This was the first “R” Us® store to utilize solar energy, which currently provides approximately 67% of the electricity needs for the location. This spring, another rooftop solar system at the “R” Superstore in Secaucus, N.J., will be installed in partnership with Hartz Solar, a subsidiary of Secaucus-based Hartz Mountain Industries, and is estimated to generate 33% of electricity for the location. Toys”R”Us continues to look for opportunities to integrate solar-powered energy, including at the corporate headquarters in Wayne, N.J., its distribution centers and other “R” Us store locations nationwide.
Toys “R” Us, Inc. has 868 Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us stores in the United States, as well as more than 520 international stores and over 200 licensed stores in 33 countries and jurisdictions. In addition, it exclusively operates the legendary FAO Schwarz brand and sells extraordinary toys in the brand’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City.