Published April 21, 2017
DUNLAP, Tenn. (www.dunlapnews.com) – Dunlap Industries held a ribbon-cutting Friday for their new array of solar panels that now cover the top of two buildings on Industrial Park Road in Dunlap. Officials from Dunlap Industries, local city government, and ENERG3, the company that brokered the solar installation, were all present for the ribbon-cutting, along with employees that work at the zipper factory.
Dunlap Industries President Robert Kwasnik said switching 90 percent of their energy consumption to the more than 500 solar panels will save his company about $40,000 each year.
Working through ENERG3, Dunlap Industries incorporated a new, rubberized roof with the solar installation. Its white color reflects heat away from the roof, which also helps with energy savings. The total cost of the project was $661,000, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) paid for 25 percent of the cost.
Kwasnik sees this as a long-term investment that will save the company money.
“It was too expensive to do it for any other reason,” he said after the ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday, “but the combination of saving money and increasing our long-term competitiveness, our involvement in the community – both the local community and the broader global community by reducing environmental impact – it’s a no-brainer.”
ENERG3 Chief Technology Officer Huber van der Harst said his company upgraded Dunlap Industries lighting a few years ago, and this time around they combined the solar array with a new roof for the company’s distribution building.
By including the roof in the project, all of it that supports solar panels is covered by the federal grant.
“The USDA contributes 25 percent of capital costs of the project to small businesses in rural areas,” van der Harst said Friday. “It’s called REAP – Rural Energy for America Program.”
“A lot of folks were involved in this project from ENERG3, Tennessee Solar and JDH Roofing to Dunlap’s team, SVEC, TVA and the Department of Agriculture,” Kwasnik said. “This would not have happened without them performing their critical roles. I want to thank each of them.”
By : Karen House, Editor, www.dunlapnews.com