Barrette Outdoor Living, the leading North American supplier of exterior home products, demonstrated its committed to being environmentally responsible with the recent unveiling of its new rooftop solar array on the 200,000-square-foot Brooksville, Florida manufacturing facility.
The 2.35-MWDC system, designed and installed by Fort Lauderdale-based Advanced Green Technologies (AGT), makes the solar project the largest privately-owned installation in Florida.
According to Barrette, the array is comprised of 27 inverters, 6,354 solar panels and is capable of producing more than 2,352,489 watts DC of power output, which will offset approximately 81% of the facility’s electricity consumption. The project is the result of the company’s interconnection agreement for solar production with Duke Energy Florida.
“As a leading manufacturer, we are proud of our commitment to build sustainable and environmentally-responsible practices to help green our supply chain and decrease our carbon footprint,” said Jean desAutels, president of Barrette Outdoor Living.
The company also was able to receive a 30% tax credit as part of the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which originally began in 2005 as part of the Energy Policy Act, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). The goal of the 1,000 member SEIA companies is for solar to achieve 20% of U.S. electricity generation by 2030.
The solar tax credit, which is a dollar-for-dollar reduction in income taxes, has already fallen to 26% thorough 2020 and will be only 22% in 2021. By 2022, the tax credit for commercial properties will be a mere 10% and zero for residences.
“The tax credits were created as a way to encourage the use of solar power and reduce dependency on fossil fuels,” explained AGT Vice President Clint Sockman. “Now is the time for companies and individuals to enjoy these savings before they run out. Using this critical tax credit, owners can see an ROI in five to 10 years.”
Since it was founded in 2007, AGT has completed more than 200 commercial solar panel installations throughout the U.S., generating more than 300 megawatts of clean energy. Based on the equivalent value of solar energy, those installations generated power equal to the electricity use of 57,459 homes and saved greenhouse gas emissions equal to 73,321 cars driven for one year.
In 2019 alone, AGT installed more than 5.8 megawatts, leading to the company’s recognition by Solar Power World as the top commercial solar EPC contractor in Florida for the ninth consecutive year.
Seeing the future advancements in green technologies, a strong acceptance and demand for environmentally responsible practices and the explosive growth of electric cars, AGT has been offering solar solutions in several areas. The solar carports, which protect vehicles and generate clean energy, are becoming the perfect compliment to electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, which are installed throughout Florida in partnership with ChargePoint. AGT also installs solar roofs designed for the high-wind zones areas of Florida and solar farm and ground-mount solutions when roof space in limited.
Among the numerous energy-saving projects completed by AGT include solar roof systems for Beacon Hill Apartments in Orlando; J.J. Taylor, a beer distributor in Fort Myers; Diary Mix, an ice cream distributor in St. Petersburg. Two projects for Lockheed Martin were a solar carport in Orlando, which saves more than $370,000 in energy costs annually, and a Clearwater solar carport that is the largest such installation in the state of Florida.
Most recently, AGT completed a project to help Cape Coral-based Mercola, a distributor of health-related products, achieve 100% solar power for its 45,000-square-foot corporate headquarters. AGT installed 530 panels on the roof to produce 210 kilowatts of electricity, plus 490 panels planned for a carport, which will produce 190 kilowatts of electricity.
“With the 30% tax credit he is basically paying for eight years of electricity up front to get 16 years free,” said Steve Rye, Mercola CEO, recently told the Fort Myers News-Press. “It’s pretty foolish not to do it. We’re looking at triple return on investment.”
Also underway for completion in 2020 is a 1.6-megawatt solar roof consisting of 4,022 panels at the new headquarters for COSTEX Tractor Parts in Miami, estimated to provide an annual savings of more than $200,000.
AGT continues to grow its presence in the state of Florida, recently acquiring a 32,000-square-foot office and warehouse in Tampa Bay that allows it to grow solar panel installation capabilities. The new facility will help support growth, adding new high in-demand jobs. The company established a Tampa presence in 2015, buying roofing contractor Roth Bros. of Florida. Since then, the contractor has added more than 40 jobs, bringing the area’s staff to more than 70 roofing and solar employees.
Source: Florida Trend