Area solar picture bright early

Firms say savings surpass predictions.

(The following is an excerpt from an article posted on the Toledo Blade's website.)

TOLEDO, OH - August 28, 2011 - Sunny summer weather is turning into solid savings for Metzgers Printing and Mailing.

Joe and Tom Metzger showing off part of the solar array on top of the building at Metzgers.The Toledo firm installed about 230 kilowatts of solar panels late last year on the roofs of its two buildings. The installations have saved Metzgers about $3,000 a month so far on its energy bills, which used to total about $22,000 a month.

President Joe Metzger said solar energy is working out so well for his company that Metzgers might install another rooftop solar array on a third building that the company plans to buy later this year.

"Our customers are excited about it," said Mr. Metzger, who has 78 employees and had about $13 million in sales last year. "Our employees are excited about it."

Solar energy arrays have been popping up around town in recent years, particularly at companies that want to trim their costs while promoting themselves as being environmentally friendly. Companies in northwest Ohio that recently have gone green include glass manufacturer Pilkington North America Inc., real estate investment firm Health Care REIT Inc., and Toledo-area Walgreens stores, which are set to have rooftop solar arrays installed this fall.

A Sunny Tower converts the solar energy into usable energy.Campbell Soup Co. announced in February that it will construct a 9.8 megawatt solar array at its Napoleon plant, which is the New Jersey company's largest production facility.

The system, to be completed by the end of this year, is expected to allow Campbell to save about $4 million in energy costs during the next 20 years and provide about 15 percent of the plant's power.

One megawatt of solar power capacity can provide power for 150 to 250 homes, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, a Washington trade group.

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Read the original story. - Published by the Toledo Blade on 08/28/2011.

Tags: green

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