“Our mission at Berner Air Curtains is to save energy and create healthy, comfortable environments,” said President/CEO David Rimbey. “We’re excited to more fully incorporate the mission into our organization with solar energy.”
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 Pennsylvania 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 is an outward sign of our mission of sustainability.”
The new solar array installation, which began in June, was facilitated by Pennsylvania Solar Center, and was installed by EIS Solar, located in Carnegie, PA. “There are so many incentives to go solar right now that can save businesses and nonprofits thousands of dollars,” said Leo Kowalski, Program Director at the PA Solar Center. “Many organizations want to learn more about using these incentives to their advantage, but do not know where to begin. That’s where our G.E.T Solar and G.E.T. Solar Communities programs come in. We’ll answer any questions you might have – like whether your organization is even a good candidate for solar, what kind of financing programs are available, and then ultimately connect you with qualified and properly accredited solar developers.”
The solar panel installation has the capacity to produce almost one gigawatt of power annually. Installation began in June, with plans for the array to be fully operational by the end of 2023. The system is designed to cover all future expansion needs. Excess energy will initially be sent back to First Energy but will eventually be integral to a planned Berner facility expansion.
“This substantial solar investment helps us deliver on Berner’s mission to create safe and comfortable environments; for our customers, employees and the planet.” said Mikael Berner, Chairman of the Board. “By investing in the largest commercial solar grid in the area we hope to inspire others to follow.”
President/CEO David Rimbey agreed. “As our company continues its net zero trajectory, this project is just another step in our efforts toward sustainability through reducing our carbon footprint. We greatly appreciate the USDA grant and the guidance of PA Solar Center while installing our system, with both together enabling our company to approach a net zero status more quickly.”