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Glen Raven Goes Solar At Sunbrella Facility

Glen Raven Inc., Glen Raven, N.C., is building a solar array atop its Sunbrella® Yarn Manufacturing Center in Norlina, N.C., with support from Progress Energy's SunSense® Commercial Solar PV program. The $3 million, 500-kilowatt installation reportedly will be the largest solar array installed under the program - which offers premium prices for solar power from installations on commercial roofs as part of its initiative to promote renewable energy development - and will generate enough electricity to power some 47 typical homes for a year.

The project, scheduled for completion this fall, also entails replacing the facility's existing roof with a 175,000-square-foot, highly reflective white roof. The new roof will improve the function of the solar panels, which feature state-of-the-art photovoltaic (PV) technology, and will enhance the plant's interior cooling system. Progress Energy will purchase power generated from the array to provide to other customers, and Glen Raven has also received federal and state tax credits as incentives to proceed with the project.

Owen E. Gupton Roofing Inc., Henderson, N.C., is installing the new roof, and Argand Energy Solutions, Charlotte, is installing the PV panels and related controls.

"While conventional solar panels only capture light directly from the sun, the photovoltaic panels we are installing at Norlina Plant are an open grid design, which processes solar energy from 360 degrees, which greatly increases their energy generation capacity," said John Gant, manager of sustainable development, Glen Raven Custom Fabrics.

July/August 2011