PENNSYLVANIA MANUFACTURER ON TRACK TO ACHIEVE NET ZERO WITH ROOFTOP SOLAR
Berner International, also known as Berner Air Curtains, and the PA Solar Center will formally kick off Berner’s solar array at a special “Solar Switch On” event 11 AM Jan. 18th at their location at 111 Progress Ave. New Castle. The New Castle manufacturer is the first of its kind to integrate solar initiatives in Lawrence County, and one of the first between Pittsburgh and Erie in Western PA. The organization will also be recognized by the PA Solar Center with the Lodestar Award, which recognizes leaders in the solar energy field in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
“As our company continues its net zero trajectory, this project is a major step in our efforts toward sustainability through reducing our carbon footprint,” said President/CEO David Rimbey. “We greatly appreciate the guidance of PA Solar Center for enabling our company to approach a net zero energy status more quickly.”
The solar panel installation has the capacity to produce almost one gigawatt of power annually. Installation began in June 2023, with the array becoming fully operational in January. The system is designed to cover future expansion needs. Excess energy is initially being sent back to First Energy but will eventually be integral to a planned Berner facility expansion.
The journey to net zero began approximately five years ago with a conversation at a clean energy forum between Berner CFO Denise Grady and Sharon Pillar, Executive Director of the PA Solar Center. “Through their organization, we were able to get information on the current state of solar technology and funding options available,” said Grady. “We did the evaluation. It made financial sense, but more importantly it was an outward sign of our mission of sustainability.”
The rooftop solar array installation was facilitated by the PA Solar Center, a nonprofit seeking to expand the benefits of solar to all Pennsylvanians, with installation provided by EIS Solar in Carnegie, PA. “Berner International’s investment in solar energy demonstrates that you can take actions that are good for the environment and for a company’s bottom line,” said Leo Kowalski, Program Director for the Pennsylvania Solar Center. “We hope that this example will spur other businesses to follow their lead.”
“By investing in the largest commercial solar installation in the area we hope to inspire others to follow,” said Mikael Berner, Chairman of the Board. “This substantial solar investment helps us deliver on Berner’s mission to save energy and create healthy, comfortable environments; for our customers, employees and the planet.”
“Going solar can help organizations avoid the huge spikes in electricity bills that consumers are currently seeing across the state and save thousands of dollars in energy costs,” explained Kowalski, who added that the Pennsylvania Solar Center assisted with the grant application. “In addition, solar savings translates into hiring more workers, or investing in more infrastructure to increase production that has ripple effects into the local economy.”
Berner is also a participant of the Green Building Alliance of Pittsburgh’s Pittsburgh and Erie 2030 Districts, an internationally recognized initiative to drastically reduce carbon emissions by the built environment by 2030.
21 WFMJ, Youngstown-Warren, Ohio, January 18th, 2024: Company Receives Award for Strides in Solar Energy
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The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio, January 18, 2024: New Castle Manufacturer Goes Green with Solar