UniFirst announced that it has begun generating solar power at its industrial laundry facility in San Antonio, Texas, according to a news release. HOLT Renewables, a local commercial solar contractor, performed the design, engineering, and construction of the 232.5 kilowatt (kW) rooftop solar system, which will offset more than 25 percent of UniFirst’s annual energy use.
The 612 high-efficiency solar panels comprising UniFirst’s solar power system are expected to generate more than $25,000 in energy savings in its first year of operation. As the cost of electricity is expected to rise over time, the system will deliver long term benefits including an estimated $1,000,000 in lifetime utility cost savings.
“Implementing a solar power system in San Antonio is just one of the many ways in which we’re putting sustainability at the heart of our business,” said Matthew Croatti, vice president of engineering and distribution for UniFirst. “Projects like this one, aimed at optimizing our operations, help create better working environments for our employee Team Partners and contribute to better service for UniFirst customers as well.”
UniFirst and HOLT Renewables worked together to take advantage of the Federal Investment Tax Credit, which allowed for a credit of up to 30 percent of the total cost of installing a solar energy system. UniFirst was also able to leverage a commercial rebate from the local utility to help reduce the total project investment.
“By incorporating solar power into its energy mix, UniFirst can expect long-term value in the form of reduced operational costs and a lower carbon footprint,” said HOLT Renewables Commercial Project Developer Aaron Arriaga. “In addition to the environmental benefits, the energy savings this system will generate in the first few years alone will essentially pay for UniFirst’s installation costs.”
Construction of this solar power system began in early 2020, with its final commissioning taking place this past July. HOLT Renewables is both UniFirst’s partner in renewable energy and a holding company of HOLT Caterpillar, a customer of UniFirst.