Velo Solar (VeloSolar.com) has begun construction on a 95kW solar array for Imperial Industrial Supply’s new east coast distribution center in Memphis, TN. Imperial, which is headquartered in Ontario, California is committed to greening the supply chain of its customers. The commercial solar array is projected to provide 15-20% of the new facility’s electricity needs, and is partially financed through the SBA 504 Green Loan Program. Velo Solar is a leading commercial solar energy system installer in the Southeastern US.

To learn more about how Velo Solar can help your organization save on energy costs and meet your carbon reduction goals, check out our Commercial Solar Energy System’s page and contact us for a consultation.

IATSE Atlanta LaunchVelo Solar (VeloSolar.com), a leading commercial solar installer in the Southeastern US, announces the launch of a new solar installation at IATSE Local 479’s Atlanta, Georgia facilities. IATSE Local 479 represents the workers in Georgia and Alabama’s thriving film and television industry and is dedicated to reducing the carbon impact of their union operations. When complete, the 125kW turnkey solar array is expected to cover almost 100% of the organization’s daily energy use, advancing the union’s goal of reaching 100% carbon neutrality.

For more information on how Velo Solar can help your organization save on energy costs and meet your carbon reduction goals, visit VeloSolar.com.

Ariel view with 575 solar panelsTo grow an extra story on your luxury mid-rise apartment building, add solar.

That’s what The Baxly did, working with the city of Savannah to gain enough green credits through solar and other features, including a vegetated courtyard, to upgrade its six-story building to a seven-story one.

That’s about 45 additional luxury apartments, with rents starting at $1,549 a month plus utilities for a studio. The Baxly houses 275 apartments in all.

There was no further tax incentive for the solar, said Emanuel Neuman, co-founding principal of Spandrel Development Partners, which developed the mixed-use project.

“For us it was enough to get the additional density and the potential to have cost savings with our common area utility bill,” he said.

The rooftop solar array is the largest solar array of any multi-family building in the Savannah Downtown Historic District, covering nearly a full block of roof space on Indian Street in the new Power Plant District just east of the Talmadge Bridge.

Atlanta-based VeloSolar installed the 575 panels, which will produce enough electricity to power about 22 average homes, said H. Britt Lothridge, director of sales. At the Baxly it will heat, cool and light common areas such as hallways and the amenities like the heated saltwater pool, wine storage and tasting lounge, co-working space, and tool and craft shop.

Velo used Boviet 320-watt panels manufactured in Vietnam for the rooftop solar farm.

VeloSolar focuses primarily on small utility grade projects as well as commercial systems, such as The Baxly, Lothbridge said.

“As far as Savannah goes we recently completed an install on a roof of a newly constructed hotel and we did two installs for J.C. Lewis Ford (Hinesville & Statesboro),” he wrote in an email.

With the success of The Baxly, New York- and Charleston-based Spandrel Development Partners is looking at putting solar on a project in Raleigh now.

“We think that if we can build it, and if it can be accretive, meaning it doesn’t necessarily cost the project money, but it’s net neutral because of the money that it reduces your electricity bill and any tax credits that go along with it, we want to do it every time we can,” Neuman said.

Article and photo from: www.savannahnow.com
Written by Mary Landers, 9/15/20

As part of its corporate commitment to community values, J.C. Lewis Ford tapped Georgia-based Velo Solar to install solar energy systems on its Hinesville and Statesboro locations.

J.C. Lewis Ford is the first car dealership in the Savannah area to adopt solar energy for its operations. The two solar locations, built by Choate Construction, reflect the dealership’s ongoing mission to community values, including a reduction of its carbon footprint and economical operation. Velo Solar installed 60 kilowatt systems on each dealership to reduce utility bills as well as environmental impact.

Walter Lewis, president of J.C. Lewis Ford, said the decision to incorporate solar into the company’s operation flows from the dedication that has distinguished its operation since its founding in 1912.

“J.C. Lewis Ford values our community,” he said. “The first step towards supporting the community is environmentally responsible construction. We were proud to partner with Velo Solar to reduce our carbon footprint while increasing our economic impact, providing jobs and efficient, economical vehicle choices.”

Commissioned in 2019, the solar systems have operated in keeping with initial projections for lowering J.C. Lewis’s power bills in each location. In addition, the systems have avoided 114 metric tons of CO2, the equivalent of planting 2,970 trees in a 10-year span.

Graham Cooper, Choate Construction Senior Project Manager, said Velo Solar was an excellent partner during the installation process.

“When Choate was awarded the J.C. Lewis Ford projects, we were able to quickly identify ways to accomplish the client’s goal to reduce energy consumption through the use of relevant fixtures and a complete {solar} photovoltaic system,” Cooper said. “Our selection of a capable partner who could install a photovoltaic system that would satisfy our client was crucial. Velo Solar made the process smooth and we look forward to expanding our partnership with them in the future.”

Britt Lothridge, director of sales for Velo Solar, said commercial operations like J.C. Lewis Ford can get excellent return on investment with solar energy, as well as lowering their carbon footprint.

“Working with J.C. Lewis Ford and Choate was a great opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of solar energy for commercial operations,” he said. “They invested at a great time for the best return and we are delighted that the system has performed as well as projected, providing savings and efficiency with clean solar power.”

View the J.C Lewis Ford Case Study

 


Published March 11, 2020 at Savannah Business Journal Staff Report

A brewery in Avondale Estates said it has become the first in DeKalb County to be powered by solar energy.

The Lost Druid, which opened last year near Avondale’s city center, recently installed a large solar panel on its roof from Georgia-based firm Velo Solar, according to a statement from the company.

The brewery makes its own beer at the 6,800-square-foot facility, which also includes a taproom, aging facility, kitchen and event space.

The solar installation is expected to produce 21,514 kilowatt hours of power every year, which could reduce the business’ annual power bill by as much as 15%, Velo Solar said. It will also reduce the brewery’s carbon footprint.

The Druids respected nature, and this is one of numerous measures we employ to minimize our impact on the environment.
Stacia Familo-Hopekowner and co-founder, THe Lost Druid

Britt Lothridge, the director of sales for Velo Solar, said more businesses should think about using solar energy to power their operations.

“They not only pay less for electricity month-to-month, they also reduce reliance on fossil fuels,” Lothridge said.

In Athens, Terrapin Beer Co. installed a solar array on its rooftop and solar-panel sunshades in its parking lot last fall, becoming the first brewery in Georgia to purchase renewable power at its facility.


First published 1/22/20 at ajc.com by J.D. Capelouto, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The resurgence of manufacturing in America, much like energy policy, has been at the forefront of political debate in our last election season. Aside from having similar political clout, these industries have a lot more in common than meets the eye.

Solar energy has been on the rise in the United States since the early 2000’s and has become a significant part of our national energy mix. This rapid growth has been primarily due to state and federal subsidies, improved manufacturing economics (cheaper production) and innovative financial vehicles. The vast majority of early growth in the industry came from third-party owned residential and utility scale systems. These third-party ownership structures were pioneered by large solar developers such as Solar City, SunRun, Sun Edison and other West Coast developers with access to large pools of tax equity.

With all of this growth in the industry there is still one sector which is considered to be underserved, but with massive potential for solar adoption. That is commercial and industrial (C&I) rooftop solar. Many can speculate as to the reasons for this lagging market sector, but from Velo’s years of experience in dealing with C&I clients we can tell you that the clear majority of these businesses prefer to own their own solar assets as opposed to entering into a third-party ownership agreement which would yield lower energy savings, lock them into a long-term contract, complicate real-estate transactions, and forgo all tax attributes associated with owning their own array.

Solar is starting to see a shift from a third-party ownership dominated market to customer owned. There are two reasons for this transition.

  1. Solar has become cheaper due to improved manufacturing, competition in the marketplace and overall economies of scale. This has helped to shelter the solar industry from impending policy risk. In other words, unsubsidized solar can stand on its own two feet and remain an attractive investment regardless of clean energy policy claw-backs.
  2. As solar has matured as an industry, financial institutions have become more comfortable with the long-term viability and risks associated with solar as an asset class. Thus, there are more traditional and cheaper vehicles with which to finance customer-owned projects.

These conditions have made it possible for commercial and industrial customers to own their own assets with traditional financial vehicles while keeping cash flow positive and achieving long-term attractive returns for their business.

While this is great news for all C&I rooftop solar customers, there is one market segment which is best positioned to take advantage of these new conditions above all others. Manufacturing seems to be one of the most receptive market segments to rooftop solar integration. There are several reasons why manufacturers are such great rooftop solar candidates.

  1. Most manufacturers understand energy as a part of their supply chain. There is a consensus that all the costs along the supply chain are absorbed into your product and thus make you less competitive. In most manufacturing operations, you see entire teams dedicated to sustainability focus groups where they look for best practices, whether that’s in looking for LED solutions, HVAC upgrades, or more efficient operating equipment. In a world where US manufacturing is under more and more threat to cheaper overseas production, we are forced to become more innovative and explore all available efficiencies which can advance our products in today’s global market. Solar is a major efficiency which can help accomplish this.
  1. Manufacturers typically have the most suitable infrastructure to accommodate rooftop solar installs. This would include having a large flat rooftop which is clear of heavy machinery and is typically only single story. This allows for easier installations of larger arrays which can provide maximum energy production to offset the operation below.
  1. One of the unique features of solar manufacturers in Georgia is that they’re exempt from sales tax, which helps tremendously with returns on projects where other manufacturers might suffer. They receive a 30% federal tax credit on their first year of using solar and can take advantage of accelerated solar depreciation on a 5-year schedule. In Georgia, manufacturers can start seeing a return on investment in as little as two to four years. This trend in ROI has been rising consistently over recent years.
  1. Solar can improve a manufacturer’s load factor – this is basically a measurement of how often the facility hits their peak energy demand and for how long. For example – if the manufacturer powers up all of its equipment at the same time and has intermittent spikes in its usage, this can cause a poor load factor leading to a higher rate of electricity from the grid. Solar can help by “shaving” these peaks during the day to help normalize the facility’s energy usage, thus improving their load factor resulting in a more favorable retail energy rate over time.
  1. Solar can also improve a manufacturer’s power factor – this is basically a measure of the difference of energy provided from the grid vs actual energy used to perform work in the facility. Manufacturers are exposed to power factor issues because of electric motors in their equipment, which require an electromagnetic field to operate. This is known as an induction load and can lead to inefficiencies in a manufacturer’s power factor. A poor power factor usually leads to a higher rate of electricity and a more expensive bill. Solar has the ability to perform power factor correction by way of injecting a leading or lagging voltage into the facility during daytime production thus improving the retail energy rate over time.

In conclusion – The C&I solar rooftop market can be a tremendous asset to our manufacturing sector in this country as we continue to compete in a smarter global economy. Solar is an instrument with the potential to provide us with yet another competitive edge we can use to revitalize our manufacturing economy while advancing us towards energy independence. The cost of solar has gone down significantly because of better manufacturing of the solar equipment. It’s Velo Solar’s equipment costs that brings turnkey production costs down 70% in the last 10 years. For more information about how your company can get involved with going solar, please contact us to discuss your plans.