Dropbox to Use Distributed Renewable Energy

Dropbox joins a growing number of companies powering their facilities with distributed renewable energy.
Published: Thu 04 Sep 2014

Urban Green Energy, a provider of renewable energy solutions for global enterprise customers, has been selected by Kilroy Realty to design and supply the solar energy system at Dropbox's new LEED Platinum San Francisco office.

Dropbox provides a handy and free service that allows you to share documents, videos and photos. Founded in 2007, the site has over 300 million users globally.

The custom photovoltaic array will harness solar energy to produce power on-site at Dropbox, offsetting the electricity used in the new six-story commercial building.

Enhancing energy efficiency and sustainability

UGE designed the 25.2kW solar PV system to enhance efficiency and sustainability, analyzing the specific solar resources available at the 333 Brannan St. location and utilizing its advanced proprietary site assessment technology. The resulting renewable energy system incorporates 84 300W solar panels and will be among several sustainable features included at the LEED Platinum building, designed by William McDonough Partners.

"On-site renewable energy will power a sustainable future for Dropbox – a visible step forward for an innovative company located in the heart of the tech capital of the world," said Scott Van Pelt, Director of Engineering at UGE. "UGE's software tools have played a crucial role in designing efficient solar and wind systems based on site-specific resources, so it's both exciting and fitting that one of our energy solutions will top the headquarters of a leader in cloud technology."

Commercial sector turning to distributed renewable energy

Dropbox joins a growing number of companies powering their facilities with distributed renewable energy. UGE has designed wind, solar, lighting, and battery storage systems for global brands:

  • The Hilton Resort in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, installed six UGE wind turbines on its roof.

  • UGE designed a hybrid renewable energy system for a BMW dealership in Beijing, China, consisting of five wind turbines and 100 kW of solar panels.

  • A Ford dealership in Ontario, Canada, installed a UGE wind turbine to power its brand sign located in front of the site. The wind turbine is located next to the sign.

UGE also designed and supplied a renewable energy outdoor lighting system for a Whole Foods store in Brooklyn, New York, and a renewable energy system for the Philadelphia Eagles’ stadium. The Brooklyn Whole Foods, opened in December 2013, features 19 UGE Sanya SLS streetlights which are powered by both the wind and sun. The store also features two UGE Sanya Skypump electric vehicle charging stations. The store achieved LEED Platinum certification.

The Philadelphia Eagles’ stadium is the first professional stadium in the US to install a renewable energy system capable of generating all of the electricity needed onsite. The system features both wind turbines and solar panels which produce about six times the amount of power needed every year for all of the team’s home games.

Distributed generation – an opportunity for everyone to benefit

A more reliable and cheaper supply of electricity is becoming very attractive to consumers around the world and it is being fuelled by cheap solar panels and installation. [Cheaper Solar Installations-Watershed Moment for Distributed Generation and Renewables.] Unreliable power supply is another driver. The manufacturing of hugely effective and cost-efficient batteries are also on the horizon, driving more consumers away from the power grid. While this is great news for consumers, utilities are left scrambling to transform themselves in an attempt to stay afloat in a hugely competitive industry.

This also opens the door to opportunity for utilities which are being forced to change their traditional business models to accommodate the needs of their customers. [Engerati-Distributed Generation Opens a Floodgate of Opportunity.]

Further reading

Engerati-Distributed Generation A Global Trend