Largest project of kind in Midwest is 2nd for global company

The following article, written by Jon Chavez, appeared October 31, 2015 in the Toledo Blade. View an excerpt below and read the full article on The Blade’s website.

As the sun rose slowly over Owens Corning’s world headquarters in downtown Toledo and the sounds of John Denver’s “Sunshine on My Shoulder” wafted through a crowd of nearly 200 employees gathered outside of the front entrance, top company executives and other officials flipped on a giant light switch Friday, bringing to life a new 2.4-megawatt solar panel array.

It was seated atop 32 rows of canopies covering OC’s 9.5-acre parking lot.

“An exciting and momentous day for our company,” said Mike Thaman, company president and chief executive.

The array, he said, will generate about a third of the power used daily at the headquarters of the manufacturer of shingles, insulation, and other building materials.

A joint project between OC and energy provider Constellation, the array is the largest parking lot project of its kind in the Midwest, Mr. Thaman said. It uses 8,000 305-watt solar panels made by China-based Yingli Solar, covers 935 parking spaces. It can generate 3 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year, enough to cover about 30 percent of the firm’s electricity needs.

Constellation, a subsidiary of Chicago-based energy provider Exelon Corp., financed, owns, and will maintain the array whose energy will be sold back to OC under a 20-year contract. Rudolph/​Libbe built the array.

“When we signed up to do it I was assured this was a pretty straightforward thing and everybody’s doing it,” Mr. Thaman joked. “It was only after we got done that I was told how immense a project it is.”