Midwest Groundcovers’ 99-acre nursery in St. Charles, IL now utilizes 37.5 kilowatts (kW) of solar energy.
Realgy, LLC, an alternative energy service supplier in Illinois, owns the solar photovoltaic (PV) system now installed at Midwest’s headquarters. As part of Realgy’s commitment to generating local renewable energy, Realgy funded the project and hand-picked Midwest Groundcovers as a test-site for the installation.
“We are excited to announce the completion of the Midwest Groundcovers solar project,” says Michael Vrtis, president of Realgy. “Realgy made this investment as a trial and looks forward to Illinois promoting renewable energy so we can continue to install and provide the benefits of renewable energy to businesses in Illinois.”
Renewable Energy Alternatives of Northbrook, IL installed the solar PV system on the roof of Midwest’s maintenance building.
“Midwest Groundcovers’ facility is a beautiful nursery and agricultural center. We are excited to contribute to the use of solar energy for Midwest to generate electricity,” says Renewable Energy president Bernie Schmidt of the installation.
The Midwest Groundcovers solar PV system will produce over 48, 430 kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy annually and more than one million kWh over the next 25 years. This is enough energy to power approximately thirteen average United States homes each year. The environmental benefits associated with the system will offset nearly 900 thousand pounds of carbon dioxide over the initial 25 years of operation.
Gary Knosher, President of Midwest Groundcovers, is also enthusiastic about the project.
“All of our products use solar energy since we are a plant nursery,” says Knosher. “Adding the ability to generate clean solar energy to satisfy some of our annual electricity requirements is really exciting and builds on our sustainable commitment. This is why our Vice President, Stan Schumacher, initially pursued the project for us.”
Concerning Midwest’s involvement in the solar panel project, Schumacher adds, “At Midwest, we have always considered ourselves responsible stewards of the environment, and the solar panel initiative naturally aligns with our company’s sustainable practices.”
Midwest Groundcovers hosted an official Turn-On Ceremony for the solar PV system on Monday, January 9, 2012 in which numerous green industry leaders and community representatives attended.