Ashley Furniture Industries committed to a multi-phase effort last year to reduce the company’s energy footprint, and completed a 28,776 roof-mounted solar panel system on its Leesport, Pennsylvania advanced manufacturing and distribution facility. The array will produce more than 9,630,600 kWh of electricity per year, roughly equivalent to the power consumed by 786 average American households in a year.
According to solar PV installation records tracked by SEIA, the national trade association for the U.S. solar industry, the project is the largest rooftop solar energy system in Pennsylvania and ranks amongst the largest commercial rooftop solar installations in the nation. The facility’s current annual electrical energy consumption exceeds 10 million kWh, and solar is expected to offset 90% of the facility’s electrical energy needs.
“The solar panel project we have at Ashley is just one more example of Ashley’s sustainability efforts for our global marketplace and local communities,” said Todd Wanek, president and CEO, of Ashley Furniture Industries. “Besides reducing our company’s energy footprint, we’re also able to save on energy costs which, in turn, can be passed along to our customers.”
Ashley partnered with solar developer SunPeak to design and install the solar systems.
“The project is noteworthy for its scale,” said Tim Paap, professional engineer and director of project execution for SunPeak. “It can be difficult to comprehend just how large the system is when you talk about megawatts of power. The entire system takes up 580,000 sq ft, or over 10 football fields and produces as much power as two locomotives. And it’s on the roof of a facility that would otherwise be unutilized.”
In addition to the Leesport facility, rooftop solar systems have been constructed and commissioned on two other Ashley distribution and retail centers in Romeoville, Illinois and Lathrop, California. Mobilization has started on the next two facilities in Redlands and Colton, California.
“We need a lot of energy to manufacture our products and it only makes sense to use renewable sources,” said Ron Wanek, founder and chairman, Ashley Furniture Industries. “This is a long-term investment, not only for Ashley, but for our environment. We are taking proactive steps and hope to see others in our industry join us.”
Solar power will support the company’s advanced manufacturing and warehousing operations, which include Internet of Things systems, automation and robotics and battery-powered industrial vehicles.
News item from Ashley Furniture Industries