Local company goes green by adding solar panels

Fri, 01/15/2010 - 2:55pm
By: John Munford

Aircraft Spruce and Specialty Company, which sells aircraft parts and pilot supplies worldwide from its home in the Peachtree City industrial park, has gone “green” in a big way.

Thursday morning the company threw the switch on four arrays of solar panels recently installed on the roof of the 52,000 square foot building. Those panels are projected to provide power for roughly half of the company’s daily electrical usage, according to Mark Jones of Inman Solar.

Not only that, but thanks to the federal stimulus package passed by Congress, Aircraft Spruce will recoup 30 percent of the installation costs as a federal grant, not a tax credit, Jones said. Combined with a tax credit offered by the state of Georgia, the company is expected to recoup its investment within three to four years.

The panels themselves are warranted to last 25 years.

As far as the impact on the environment, the solar panels clean energy is expected to be the equivalent of taking 20 cars off the road each year or planting 32 acres of trees, according to Inman Solar.

City Building Official Tom Carty said while some companies in the industrial park have taken to adopting solar, this is by far the city’s largest solar installation.

There are 540 solar panels on the roof of Aircraft Spruce. They are not anchored by piercing the roof, as the only holes in the roof are the ones for the electrical conduit leading to a power converter in a mechanical room.

The panels are also movable should an issue need to be repaired on the roof. The panels themselves will likely need to be cleaned with a water hose once or twice a year, Jones said.

The panels are pitched at a 10 degree angle and face southward toward the airport.

Aircraft Spruce, which moved to Peachtree City from Griffin in 2004, has a sister operation in California which also recently adopted solar power. The Peachtree City location has a taxiway to the airport so aviation fanatics can fly in to pick up their order if they want.

Inman Solar was the subcontractor in charge of installation for Aliso Electric of Laguna Hills, Calif.

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