Outfitting Virnig Manufacturing with solar power started as an idea, became a plan, and then a project. With our newly installed solar system, 40 percent of our electricity will now come from our solar panel rooftop. Here's a little bit more about what this means for Virnig and the environment.
Virnig Manufacturing and Solar Efficiency
Our new solar system is another step forward in our ongoing efforts to increase the efficiency of our business. From the equipment and machines in our shop all the way down to the paint we finish our attachments with, we're no strangers to updating and upgrading our business. Basically, when there's a newer, better way to do something, we're going to take a hard look to decide if it can help us build a superior product.
Great for the Environment
With the new solar array, 40 percent of our business will use clean energy - energy with zero emissions. Each year, this 500KW solar-powered system will significantly reduce Virnig Manufacturing's CO2 emissions.
In fact, the amount of CO2 reduced will be equivalent to the amount created by burning 520,000 pounds of coal or powering 70 homes. To look at it another way, the amount of CO2 emissions the solar power system will eliminate annually is equivalent to the amount that 560 acres of forest would clear in the same timeframe.
Great for Our Business ...
With all the good this system will do for the environment, it's also a smart financial move. It should lower energy costs by about $4,000 a month. When you combine these monthly savings with the available tax incentives and grants for clean energy, the entire system will pay for itself in fewer than five years.
... And Other Local Businesses
We were fortunate enough to work with a few Minnesota businesses to make our solar panels rooftop a reality. We worked with Winkelman Building Co. (of St. Cloud, MN) to design and build the buildings where the solar panels are installed. The entire solar system was designed by St. Paul-based company Innovative Power Systems, and the installation was completed by Oxbow Sunworks out of Stillwater, MN.
OTHER SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVES
Pollution Prevention: Raw steel is covered from the elements and the shop yard is swept regularly to limit pollution. Full compliance with the local pollution control agency ensures the measures we take are working.
Native Landscape: The area surrounding Virnig’s facility was planted in native vegetation in 2010, providing habitat for local wildlife.
Eco-Friendly Powder Coating: The entire powder coating process reduces the environmental footprint through the elimination of hazardous chemicals, a 96% reduction in water usage and minimizing waste by reusing over-sprayed powder.