Old Dominion Freight Line installed rooftop solar panels on its warehouse in Thomasville, N.C. It's the first solar panel system in the company's nationwide network of facilities.

The 1.8-megawatt system, composed of 7,660 individual solar panels that completely cover the company's 160,000-square-foot roof, is the third-largest rooftop solar panel project of its kind in North Carolina. The system, which has been operating since late December, can produce more than 2.2 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year−enough to offset more than 90% of the building's annual energy costs.

CO2 emissions are reduced by a projected 1,547 metric tons. That's the equivalent of:

-173,380 gallons of gas
-3,597 barrels of oil.
-Electricity for 193 homes
-303 passenger vehicles removed from the road
-15.3 acres of trees saved from deforestation

"The solar panel system is a sound investment for Old Dominion from both an economic and environmental perspective," says Jayna Long, manager of sustainability. "The electricity produced by the panels is routed into the local power grid and will fulfill the energy needs of nearly 200 homes this year. We are committed to environmental stewardship projects and are using this solar project to determine the feasibility of installing alternative power sources in other facilities in our network."

Old Dominion has implemented a number of sustainable initiatives in its facilities during the past year. The company opened what will be its first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified service center in Canton, Ohio. The building will see an estimated 19.7% in annual energy savings and can achieve a 34% reduction in water use, saving more than 31,000 gallons of water annually.

In 2011, Old Dominion also installed more efficient bulbs in 80% of its lighting systems and is implementing corporate-wide waste and recycling programs to reduce its impact on the environment.