Rooftop Solar System Powers Toy Distribution

May 16, 2011

Toys”R”Us, Inc. recently announced plans to add the largest rooftop solar power installation in North America to its distribution center in Flanders, NJ. Staging for the system is currently underway and construction will conclude this summer. Upon completion, the 5.38 megawatt on-site solar mechanism will occupy 869,294 square feet and is estimated to generate 72 percent of the electrical needs for the Toys”R”Us facility.

This solar power installation will cover nearly 70 percent of the distribution center’s 1,281,000-square-foot roof and will consist of more than 37,000 ultra lightweight UNI-SOLAR brand photovoltaic solar panels. The system is expected to produce approximately 6,362,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year, saving an estimated 4,387 metric tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent emissions from 860 passenger vehicles or that of the electricity used to power 532 homes annually.

The 20-acre rooftop solar installation at the Flanders distribution center utilizes space that would otherwise go unused and has been designed to meet the facility’s energy needs. The solar power system is comprised of thin-film photovoltaic panels that are flexible, lightweight, durable and maintain performance, even in sub-optimal lighting conditions. The non-ballasted, non-penetrating and removable racking system allows access to the roof and prevents debris build-up and maintenance issues.

The Toys”R”Us facility in Flanders, NJ is the largest of the company’s ten national distribution centers and covers over 1.5 million square feet, in addition to the roof, which spans 32 acres. The company-owned fulfillment center opened in April 1995 and was expanded in September 2001 to include an additional 500,000 square feet of operational space. The facility supports replenishment and fulfillment needs for Toys”R”Us and Babies”R”Us locations throughout the northeastern U.S.

Toys”R”Us continues to look for opportunities to integrate solar-powered energy, including at the corporate headquarters in Wayne, NJ, its distribution centers and other “R”Us store locations nationwide. In January 2010, a rooftop solar power system was installed at the Babies”R”Us in North Brunswick, NJ. This was the first “R”Us store to utilize solar energy, which currently provides approximately 67 percent of the electricity needs for the location. This spring, another rooftop solar system at the “R” Superstore in Secaucus, NJ will be installed, and is estimated to generate 33 percent of electricity for the location.

“The unprecedented scope of this project furthers our already strong commitment to sustainability in our operations,” said Jerry Storch, Chairman and CEO, Toys”R”Us, Inc. “New Jersey’s leadership in providing renewable, clean energy opportunities for companies has helped pave the way for an installation of this size and underscores the state as a champion for solar energy growth across North America.”

Source: PR Newswire

Photo courtesy of Uni-Solar.



Dawn Killough

has over 15 years experience in the construction industry and is the author of Green Building Design 101, an e-book available from Amazon. She is a LEED AP and Certified Green Building Advisor, and has worked on the LEED Certification of three projects in Salem, Oregon.