(Madison, Wis.) (March 24, 2017) – American Family Insurance is installing nearly 4,500 solar panels on its National Headquarters (NHQ) building in Madison, the latest project in the company’s award-winning sustainability efforts.
This will be the largest single rooftop solar installation in the state of Wisconsin to-date. Madison commercial solar developer, SunPeak is American Family’s chosen partner for this project, which is expected to take approximately 60-90 days to complete.
Solar photovoltaic (PV) systems use the sun’s rays to generate electricity in a quiet, clean manner that is always renewable. The system being installed at American Family’s NHQ will use a “delta wing” (east/west orientation) solar panel configuration. This creates a chevron-like pattern that maximizes solar density on a flat roof, without the need for a southern-facing exposure.
This installation is estimated to produce approximately 1.26 million kilowatts annually, which is enough energy to power 122 average-sized homes, or 874,000 60-watt light bulbs for one day. The panels have a service life of 30 years and no moving parts to wear out or replace, requiring little maintenance. The system is projected to offset six to nine percent of the building’s electrical usage, saving approximately $191,000 in annual energy costs.
In addition, the solar installation is expected to offset approximately 1.7 million pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) gas annually and 51 million pounds of CO2 over the course of its 30-year service life. This is equal to the yearly emissions of roughly 213 automobiles.
The solar panel installation is just the latest in a number of sustainability projects American Family Insurance has implemented in its dedication to environmental stewardship and social responsibility. Some of the others include:
~Organics recycling at NHQ, Eden Prairie, Minn. location and coming to the East Region building, also in Madison. This recycling effort is a significant step toward American Family’s zero waste initiative, the diversion of 90 percent or more waste away from landfills.
~Native prairie restorations at the NHQ location as part of the company’s sustainable land management program.
~High-efficiency lighting at all offices, including the integration of LED in select locations.
~Water savings of more than 4.5 million gallons per year through redesign of the NHQ kitchen refrigeration systems as well as integration of soft water into cooling systems (the equivalent of four-and-one-fourth Olympic-sized swimming pools).
~Retro-commissioning efforts at multiple buildings. Retro-commissioning is a full assessment and recalibration of the HVAC controls and settings.
~Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) registration at the Eden Prairie, Minn. and East Region building in Madison.
“American Family Insurance has made a commitment to sustainability by implementing projects and initiatives that protect our environment and contribute to the well-being of our communities,” said Dan Rosetta, American Family Insurance facilities operations director. “Conserving energy and utilizing renewable energy reaffirms our commitment to the environment while also reducing our operating costs, and that means we can better meet the needs of our customers.”
About American Family Insurance
Madison, Wis. – based American Family Insurance, celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2017, is the nation’s 13th-largest property/casualty insurance group and ranks No. 332 on the Fortune 500 list. The company sells American Family-brand products, including auto, homeowners, life, business and farm/ranch insurance, through its exclusive agents in 19 states. American Family affiliates (The General, Homesite and AssureStart) also provide options for consumers who want to manage their insurance matters directly over the Internet or by phone. Web www.amfam.com; Facebook www.facebook.com/amfam; Twitter www.twitter.com/amfam; Google+ plus.google.com/+amfam/.
SunPeak is a turnkey developer of commercial solar systems, handling feasibility studies, financial payback analysis, system engineering, installation, and ongoing maintenance. Projects typically range from 100 kW to 5 MW and offer significant cost savings relative to conventional utility rates. The company was founded in 2014 by Chad Sorenson and a team of leading global solar developers who have completed more than 350 MW of installations on three continents over the past decade, including projects in Canada, Germany and Japan. More information at www.sunpeakpower.com or (608) 535-4554.