Boeing’s South Carolina Dreamliner site strikes partnership deal to operate with fully renewable energy
Rendering of the Final Assembly building with solar panels
Fri 6 May 2011 – Boeing has entered a partnership with South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) that will enable its 787 production and final assembly site in North Charleston to operate with 100 per cent fully renewable energy. Around 20 per cent of the energy will be generated from thin-film solar laminate panels owned, installed and maintained by SCE&G on the roof of the new Boeing 787 Final Assembly building currently under construction. The installation will be the sixth largest of its kind in the United States. SCE&G will then supplement the additional requirement from its own biomass facility that takes shrub and tree waste to generate sustainable energy. Boeing has also announced that the South Carolina site is its first major commercial airplane production facility to achieve zero waste to landfill status.
Commenting on the SCE&G energy partnership, Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Jim Albaugh said: “Our 787 Dreamliner is manufactured using fewer hazardous materials, and designed to consume less fuel and produce fewer emissions. It only makes sense that our business operations in South Carolina reflect the environmental progressiveness of the airplane we’ll build here.”
The solar installation will provide up to 2.6 megawatts of electrical power for the site, enough, says Boeing, to power around 250 homes.
“Our customers expect that Boeing’s products and services be environmentally progressive, and our communities expect that we take credible actions to reduce our impact on the environment,” said Mary Armstrong, Vice President of Environment, Health and Safety for Boeing. “This partnership demonstrates that we share those priorities, and shows that it is possible to commit to renewable energy on a large scale.”
The zero waste to landfill programme at the site includes a partnership with Sonoco Recycling, a South Carolina-based packaging and materials recovery company. Efforts include point-of-use containers as well as recycling centres located across the site. Food waste is collected in cafeterias and break rooms for composting. Larger packaging waste materials that cannot be reused are removed from the site by Sonoco for recycling or repurposing.
“We capitalised on the unique opportunity to establish the programme early at the site to support Boeing enterprise targets for solid waste recycling and demonstrate our commitment to environmental stewardship. We are reducing the amount of material we bring onsite by utilising reusable containers whenever possible, which are returned to suppliers,” explained Tony Soto, the site’s Environment, Health and Safety Manager and Zero Waste to Landfill Project Lead.
The site is aligned to meet or exceed the Enterprise standard for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification established by the US Green Energy Council for all new buildings currently under construction.
“This is an exciting time for Boeing South Carolina,” said the site’s Vice President and General Manager, Jack Jones. “We’re continuing to produce 787 mid and aft body sections, and we’re preparing to induct the first airplane into Final Assembly here this summer. At the same time, our team also remains focused on our responsibilities to the environment and our community.”