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Kohl’s activates its largest solar project at e-commerce facility

Menomonee Falls, Wis. -- Kohl’s Department Stores on Tuesday announced activation of the company’s largest solar project at its 1 million-sq.-ft. e-commerce fulfillment center in Edgewood, Md.

The center opened in 2011 and recently earned LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council at the gold level. The location is Kohl’s sixth solar site in Maryland. It is also the company’s first LEED-certified logistics facility.

“We worked with experts internally and externally to maximize the sustainable aspects of this site, which ranged from expanding onto and retrofitting an existing building structure to addressing the nature of the distribution center as an industrial, round-the-clock facility with different operational considerations than what our stores may have,” said John Worthington, Kohl’s chief administrative officer.  

Worthington said that the retailer plans to carry forward what it learned into future building and LEED projects.

The Edgewood facility’s 2.4 MW, 8,360-panel rooftop solar array will generate more than 3 million kWh of electricity annually and provide more than 40% of the facility’s energy. Up until this project, Kohl’s largest solar site was its San Bernardino, Calif., distribution center with a 1 MW, 6,208-panel rooftop solar array.

Kohl’s solar portfolio now totals nearly 42 MW, generating more than 57,400 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity annually.

In addition to its rooftop solar panels, other “green” features of Kohl’s Edgewood project include:

  • Construction waste management efforts that diverted 95% of construction waste from local landfills;
  • More than 32% of the construction building materials by cost are made of recycled content;
  • More than 43% of the building materials by cost were regionally manufactured or harvested from within 500 miles of the site;
  • A storm water pollution prevention program and erosion and sedimentation control;
  • White membrane roofing materials reduces the building’s energy demand and minimizes its heat island impact; and
  • Cut-off exterior light fixtures reduce light pollution, directing light only where required while still maintaining safe lighting levels in the parking lot.
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