SALISBURY, NC - Freirich Foods recently completed construction of a 93 kW photovoltaic solar energy system on their Salisbury, NC processing facility. The rooftop system is comprised of 377 solar panels utilizes roughly 5,600 square feet of otherwise unused roof space. The system is mounted to the roof using a non-penetrating solution that clamps directly to the standing-seam metal roof. It was also important to Freirich Foods that the major equipment utilized in the installation be manufactured domestically, promoting American jobs.
The system will produce enough electricity to meet the requirements of 10 average American homes and offset the annual CO2 emissions equivalent to 8,113 gallons of gasoline. The project was engineered, procured, and constructed using a local workforce by commercial solar contractor United Renewable Energy, LLC and financing was provided by Vantage South Bank.
While the environmental benefits associated with the system are a bonus, the project also had to make financial sense. Freirich previously reviewed solar proposals but were amazed at the significant decrease in solar pricing in the last year. The solar installation offered attractive financial returns as well as an avenue to reduce operating cost for years to come. William Silva, President of United Renewable Energy, commented, “United Renewable Energy is proud to partner with Freirich Foods. This project is a great example of a solar energy installation that is good for the bottom line.”
The solar project is one of many sustainability initiatives that Freirich Foods has undertaken. Freirich has developed a comprehensive recycling program that redirects much of their waste stream away from landfills diverting more than 200 tons annually. Freirich also offers cash incentives for employees who purchase electric vehicles and provides charging stations that are free for use by their employees. “We are committed to operating sustainably and protecting our environment. ”said Paul Bardinas, Freirich Foods' President.