Gap Inc. installs solar panels

Gap Inc. officials flipped a symbolic switch Tuesday on a 4,500-solar-panel system at its east-central Fresno distribution center.

The 1-megawatt system spans nearly 5 acres and is capable of producing 1.9 million kilowatt hours annually, or enough to supply power to about 350 homes.

Kindley Walsh Lawlor, Gap's senior director, strategic planning & environmental affairs, said the solar project fulfills several important goals for the corporation: support for clean energy, shaving operating costs and reducing its impact on the environment.

"Over the past decade, Gap Inc. has sought to find better ways to do business, and this solar installation is one such shining example," Lawlor said.

As part of a 20-year agreement, MMA Renewable Ventures, the San Francisco-based owner and operator of the system, will sell power to Gap at or below utility rates.

"This is good for business and it's good for the planet," said Mark McLanahan, senior vice president, corporate development for Renewable Ventures. "And in these tough economic times, you need to make that connection."

The installation, one of the larger ones in the San Joaquin Valley, is expected to

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