Valmeyer business harnessing sun’s energy - Republic-Times | News

Valmeyer business harnessing sun’s energy

By on February 7, 2018 at 12:46 pm

Pictured, MAR Graphics owner Rick Roever points to the solar panels located on the roof of his business in Valmeyer. (Sean McGowan photo)

Two brothers hope to soon reap the cost-saving benefits after installing solar panels to power 20 percent of their Valmeyer business.

MAR Graphics owners Rick and Scott Roever now have 836 solar panels on the roof of their facility at 523 S. Meyer Avenue. The brothers did not wish to disclose the cost and it is unclear what the average business pays per watt.

“It takes up about one-third of the roof,” Rick said as he stood on his company’s tin roof on an unseasonably warm winter day last week. “We always have the option to install more.”

EFS Energy in St. Louis set up the 300-kilowatt, or 300,000-watt, system that spans 30,000 square feet. 

“We looked at this about 10 years ago. And back then it didn’t make sense because the payback was almost 20 years,” he said.

However, solar renewable energy credits have made the decision more palatable in recent years. MAR Graphics will receive SRECs when the system produces a certain amount of renewable energy.

Pictured, MAR Graphics owner Rick Roever and site supervisor Rick Erlinger examine the inverters for the company’s solar installation. The inverters convert the direct current output of the solar panels into alternating current that powers the shop. (Sean McGowan photo)

Illinois’ renewable portfolio standard makes these SRECs possible for those with solar installations because electricity providers must use some percentage of renewable energy. 

Additionally, Rick said he expects the business’ use of solar to knock about $3,000 per month off their electric bill.

“It also shades the roof a little bit, which should help on cooling costs. It gets hot in the summer,” he said…>>>

Read the rest of the story in the February 7, 2018, issue of the Republic-Times.

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Sean McGowan

Sean is a die-hard Cubs fan, despite the relentless peer pressure coming from the rest of the Republic-Times staff. He and his wife, Jacqui, have been married for two years. Originally from the west suburbs of Chicago, Sean and his wife moved down to Normal to attend Illinois State University and stayed central Illinois residents for the past four years.