From San Jose Mercury News - Obtained 6/24/2008

Sunpower installs solar roof at Macy's in Oakridge Mall

By Matt Nauman
Mercury News

Article Launched: 04/21/2008 11:15:20 AM PDT

Macy's unveiled a new solar roof at its Oakridge Mall store this morning, with panels from Sunpower and - making it a very San Jose-centric happening - Mayor Chuck Reed on hand for the event.

The project - 1,500 solar panels covering 27,000 square feet of roof - will generate more than 400,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity a year. That, and some changes to the store's interior lighting and energy-management system, will reduce the building's electricity bill by 40 percent, said Dan Edelman, president of Macy's West.

The system goes into operation in two weeks, but it was unveiled today to coincide with this week's celebration of Earth Day.

The Oakridge Mall location is the seventh of 28 Macy's stores in California that will get solar roofs from SunPower, the San Jose designer and manufacturer of the systems and the No. 58 company on the Mercury News' annual SV 150 ranking. The 28-store project will be completed by August. In all, the panels will generate 8.9 megawatts of power.

Reed noted that getting more solar roofs in the city, and getting more power from renewable sources and reducing power usage are among the 10 goals of his long-term Green Vision for San Jose.

"San Jose is on the road to becoming the clean-tech innovation center of the world," he said.

Tom Werner, Sunpower's chief executive officer, said commercial solar installations represent a significant opportunity - for both his company and his industry.

"When you see mainstream retailers do this, it sets a trend," Werner said. "Then, you wonder, is this more economical because it's a retailer, and the answer's yes because it's scalable. You're talking about one facilities team, one style of roof, one payback period and one financier over 28 stores. You're talking about eight megawatts of power and a typical California home would be four kilowatts, so it's substantially more."