At local dedication events held Monday in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, Cox Enterprises announced the completion of solar projects at its Manheim and Cox Communications subsidiaries. Combined, the Manheim and Cox Communications solar installations annually prevent nearly 3,600 tons of carbon from entering the environment. The projects are part of Cox Conserves, the company's national sustainability program. Nationwide, Cox Enterprises' alternative energy projects annually prevent more than 21,000 tons of carbon from entering the environment.
Cox Communications Northeast Region completed a 181-kilowatt roof installation in Warwick, R.I., (pictured) and a 500-kilowatt ground mount installation in Portsmouth, R.I. Combined, these projects annually prevent 573 tons of carbon from entering the environment and generate enough energy to power 77 average-sized homes, Cox said in a release. Through a partnership with National Grid, 100 percent of the clean energy generated will be used to serve the community.
"Cox Communications is dedicated to reducing our company-wide carbon footprint," John Wolfe, senior vice president and general manager of Cox Communications Northeast, said in the release. "Solar power is a natural step for us to add to our eco-friendly business practices, which include recycling everything from our 100% compostable and recyclable serving trays in our employee cafeteria to the fuel-efficient vehicles that you pass on the roadway."
In addition to the solar installations, Cox Communications has several sustainability initiatives throughout its Northeast Region operations in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Cleveland. Advanced lighting, boiler and HVAC control systems, as well as the use of Dyson airblades in the restrooms, create significant energy savings. The region also created a full-circle recycling and composting program that recycles or composts all paper, cardboard, plastics and food products that pass through its cafeteria, which serves more than 625 meals per day. The plates, trays and cups used in its cafeteria are made of 100 percent recycled fiber and are fully compostable – even the coffee is "green." The food scraps and materials are turned into fertilizer and used on the company's grounds.
This location was recently awarded the Cox Conserves Chairman's Cup, a company-wide program that recognizes its regional locations for implementing sustainable business practices.
Located in North Dighton, Mass., the Manheim New England project includes a 3-megawatt ground mount installation and 509 kilowatt roof installation. Combined, these produce enough energy to annually power 400 homes and prevent 3,005 tons of carbon from entering the environment. The roof system provides 29% of the wholesale vehicle auction's energy requirements, Cox said.
The 3-megawatt ground mount system is comprised of more than 10,000 solar panels and was created through an agreement with Taunton Municipal Lighting Plant (TMLP). The clean energy produced goes directly to serve the community.
An additional environmental benefit is the preservation of wetlands. During construction, the solar panels were divided into groups around 28 acres of existing wetlands. A solar power trail was constructed throughout the installation that includes educational signage on the importance of conservation and alternative energy.
Cox Enterprises has also completed alternative energy projects in Ariz., Calif., Ga., Hawaii, Md., Mo., N.J., Ore., Tenn. and Texas.