The Boeing Co. will power its second 787 final assembly line in South Carolina solely using renewable energy, the company said Tuesday.

The aerospace company is partnering with South Carolina Electric and Gas for the project, which will include covering the roof of Boeing’s North Charleston site with thin-film solar laminate panels. The solar panels are owned and will be maintained by the utility.

“Our 787 Dreamliner is manufactured using fewer hazardous materials and designed to consume less fuel, and produce fewer emissions,” said Jim McNerney, Boeing’s chief executive, in a statement. It only makes sense that our business operations in South Carolina reflect the environmental progressiveness of the airplane we’ll build here.”

This solar installation will provide up to 2.6 megawatts of electrical power for the site, enough to power approximately 250 homes. The installation will be the largest in the Southeast by production capacity, and the sixth largest in the United States.

Kevin Marsh, the president of SCE&G, said the company is installing and maintaining more than 18,000 solar panels on the roof of the assembly building, an area of about 10 acres.
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Boeing’s decision to use solar power will be noted nationwide.

“The fact that Boeing would lead the way is going to make it easier for other businesses in South Carolina and in the country to follow,” he said.

Jack Jones, vice president and general manager for Boeing South Carolina, said the new assembly plant should be operational in July. The first 787 built there is expected to take off in about a year.

The $750 million assembly plant represents the largest industrial investment in South Carolina history.

source: heraldnet