Darden Restaurants to build solar panels

Darden Restaurants will soon begin installing solar panel roofing at its Orlando headquarters, the company announced today.

The project will generate enough power to subsidize 15 to 20 percent of the building's annual usage – equal to the average annual energy use of about 163 homes. It will reduce carbon emissions by more than 1,300 metric tons each year.

Opened in September 2009, Darden's headquarters is the largest building in Florida to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design gold certification for new construction.

It includes a number of energy-efficiency features, including windows that let daylight in, but not heat, and systems that automatically dim and turn off lights as appropriate. Through the use of reclaimed water at its headquarters, Darden has saved more than 16 million gallons of drinking water in the past year.

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