In the last decade alone, solar energy has experienced an average growth rate of nearly 50%! This was due to strong federal policies like the solar investment tax credit, rapidly declining costs and increased demand across both the public and private sectors. Not to mention, the cost to install solar equipment has also dropped nearly 70% over the last decade. Still, most consumers still think this type of project is only for large, wealthy corporations who want to lighten their carbon footprint or make some positive news headlines for themselves. However, isn’t cleaner air and water something we all want? Of course!
Early in 2014, the Senior Management team at APEX Spring & Stamping saw the promise and the future of solar energy and wanted to get involved right away. They considered the required resources and wondered if it would make the project too cost prohibitive. After some research and phone calls they discovered that a solar field requires very little maintenance once installed and the return on investment was an amazing: 5 – 6 years the first 75% return in the first 18 – 24 months! So, the decision was taken to GO GREEN and we installed our own “solar farm.” This solar farm consisted of a 110kwh system directly across the street from our manufacturing facility and rows of beautiful shiny glass panels were lined up and tilted toward the sun. The project was exciting, fun and educational. Everyone from our neighbors, team members, customers and supply partners were asking questions, taking pictures and spreading the word about renewable energy from the sun.
Solar energy use has increased almost 40% in the U.S. since that 2014 project and has created good paying jobs 12 times faster than the overall economy. In late 2018, APEX built a 44,000 square foot shipping and warehouse on the property near the solar field. We wanted to power the new facility with 100% clean solar energy so we added several additional rows of panels adding another 75kwh. Our “farm” now totals 185kwh and in its lifetime will generate over 800 MWH of clean energy! That is enough power to eliminate 500 TONS of CO2 emissions, save over 70,000 gallons of gasoline, charge over 35,000 electric cars and charge over 150 million cellphones!
During this adventure we have enjoyed sharing advice, tips and statistics with our staff and customers who have been curious and impressed with our use of clean solar energy. We are committed to our environment and doing our part to keep it clean. Our “going green” has helped APEX establish relationships with companies who are looking for companies who are environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible.
To quote Dennis K. Bhaskaran, co-owner and project leader, “I only wish we had made the field larger to start. Don’t hesitate to do your research, pick a great location, feel free to ask me questions and enjoy the journey!”
Kim Dykman, 9/30/2020