A Midwestern (Iowa) beverage distributor was faced with another substantial rate increase from their local power company of nearly 4-percent. Energy costs were a big part of their business and the continual increase in energy costs was getting out of hand. They were looking for another energy source and to find a way to decrease energy costs and promote sustainability.
The distributor decided on a photovoltaic (PV) solar system. It provided the most consistent and reliable source of energy, was easy to install, and very cost-effective. They installed a PV solar system capable of generating more than 72 kW of total DC power, at a cost of nearly $190,000.
The new solar PV system went online in the summer of 2015 and began to pay for itself immediately. In July of 2015 alone they saved more than $4,100 on their electricity usage. Although installing the PV system was a major investment, help was available in the form of substantial state and federal tax credits. The installation took less than three months and payback is expected to take about 4.9 years. They also felt good knowing that their solar system will prevent approximately 68 tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year. This is equivalent to saving 144 barrels of oil, planting 1,591 trees or taking 13 cars off the road every year the system is in operation.