A new solar farm at QVC Rocky Mount produces more electricity
Edgecombe-Martin County EMC, the Touchstone Energy cooperative based in Tarboro, along with its statewide power supplier North Carolina EMC, joined retail shopping giant QVC recently in opening a new solar energy field in the Rocky Mount area.
The new solar farm on 11 acres comprises 11,564 solar electric panels at QVC's distribution center off US 64 in Kingsboro, between Rocky Mount and Tarboro. The facility has a sister farm assembled in 2008 on seven acres at the same location. Together, the two solar farms can produce 5.8 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. QVC says producing this much power from renewable energy equates to reducing CO2 emissions in the atmosphere of 458,766 gallons of gasoline.
Edgecombe-Martin County EMC is the electricity provider to the facility, and the cooperative was instrumental in taking advantage of resources to bring the QVC to Rocky Mount. NCEMC will purchase the energy produced by both QVC solar farms and return it to the grid.
QVC Rocky Mount has been in Edgecombe County since 2000 and employs more than 1,000 people. During peak seasons, the company employs as many as 1,500 people. Other QVC sustainability initiatives at the site include:
- A recycling program that salvages 4 million pounds of corrugate and 100,000 pounds of plastic recycling per year.
- Warehouse lighting using energy-efficient T5 fluorescent fixtures and motion lighting sensors.
- High efficiency HVAC units and LED lighting installed in all dock lights.
- A "white roof" that reduces cooling costs.
- A community garden created for employees to grow fresh vegetables for local food banks.
- Sheep on the premises that have reduced the need for gas-powered lawn mowers.
Energy Efficiency Tip
Lighting accounts for about 13 percent of the average household’s electric bill — cut costs by choosing new lightbulbs that have increased output and longevity. Some cost more up front, but prices are dropping as technology advances. Options include color, brightness, and even dimming and multi-way functions. Combining lights with automatic sensors can cut costs further.