Let the sun shine in

FedEx Ground solar power system in Maui models energy of the future

Let the sun shine in

FedEx Ground solar power system in Maui models energy of the future

September 15, 2020

In Hawaii, electricity depends on imported petroleum, which comes with high prices and greenhouse gas emissions. But the state also has an abundant natural resource: the sun. With an average of 276 sunny days each year, Maui, Hawaii is the perfect place to harness the power of the sun. And at the FedEx Ground facility on Maui, we’re doing just that.

Solar batteries at facility

We can also use the solar energy stored in the battery packs to help alleviate stress on the power grid when energy demand for the grid is high, such as on hot summer days when many people use air conditioning. This sudden increase in demand causes challenges and may lead energy utility companies to produce electricity using more carbon intensive methods.

The system combines the power of solar energy with the storage capacity of state-of-the-art, rechargeable lithium ion batteries to not only reduce energy costs and avoid emissions, but also build resilience to the electrical grid disruptions and climate change challenges that affect us all.

Solar panels on roof
Solar Panel closeup

Energy for the future

In place since 2018, the Maui system already shows promise as a key part of our renewable energy strategy across FedEx. It helps us support our customers’ energy goals and offers a model for other businesses to shift to a sustainable power source. Through this innovative test case, we are also assessing how the technology could be implemented at more FedEx facilities to meet our needs for clean, carbon-free power worldwide, whether that’s to support transportation and delivery or facility operations.

Having a clean source of energy will become even more important, as we add more electric vehicles to FedEx fleets around the world. Investing in renewable energy sources is fundamental to making sure our future electric vehicles are powered by clean energy, generated using low carbon sources, and we are reducing environmental impacts in the communities we serve.

FedEx Ground is planning the infrastructure to expand renewable energy capacity—including piloting a self-sufficient microgrid—while FedEx Express is working on a strategy for fleet electrification and collaborating with utilities, manufacturers, and regulators to drive far-reaching change.

Solar panels on roof

Tipping point

Solar energy technology has reached a tipping point, and we’re doing all we can to take it to the next level. The on-site solar + battery system at our Maui facility represents a new model for energy and increased resiliency in a time of climate uncertainty and volatility. By using its learnings to revolutionize our energy management approach and invest in technologies, we can help make this approach viable across industries, benefiting people and communities. Together, we’re taking the next steps toward an even more sustainable, resilient energy strategy at FedEx—and well beyond.