Market Research and Insight

A 2.5-megawatt solar carport is the latest advance in reinsurance giant Munich Re’s quest to make its worldwide operations carbon-neutral by 2012. San Jose-based...

A 2.5-megawatt solar carport is the latest advance in reinsurance giant Munich Re’s quest to make its worldwide operations carbon-neutral by 2012.

San Jose-based SunPower will design and build the solar panel system that will go onto a carport structure at Munich Re’s facility in Plainsboro, New Jersey. Once completed, the system is expected to save Munich Re $500,000 a year in electricity costs.

Since adopting a carbon-neutral strategy for its reinsurance activities, the company has already achieved carbon neutrality in its Munich headquarters in 2009.

“The success of our core business is inextricably linked to environmental protection, so a sustainable approach is an indispensable component of our business strategy,” said Tony Kuczinski, president and CEO of Munich Reinsurance America. “(O)ur solar carport system will maximize the solar power generated onsite, optimizing our savings and reducing the need for the public utility to burn fossil fuel. It’s good for business, our community and the environment.”

Construction is set to begin this year, with the system expected to be operational in the second half of 2012. Munich Re will sell the solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs) and environmental benefits associated with the system, enabling regional utility companies to meet their renewable portfolio standard requirements.

Dan Ilett