Solar to mean savings at Western Disposal
Last Updated: 15:09 September 6, 2013
The system, which will power Western’s filling-station pumps for its natural gas-powered trucks as well as the company’s operations building, was designed and built by a trio of Boulder companies. Lighthouse Solar completed the solar system installation, Lumos Solar supplied the frameless solar modules and Wyatt Construction built the support structure.
Western’s Frank Bruno – who recently replaced Gary Horton as president of the company as Horton transitions into retirement in more of an advisory role – said the $600,000 system is expected to pay for itself in about seven or eight years with the energy cost savings it will provide. The system will produce the equivalent electricity needed to power about 25 to 30 average homes in Colorado.
Western already was sourcing 100 percent of its electricity from wind through Xcel Energy Inc.’s Windsource program. Western is in the process of converting its entire fleet of trucks to compressed natural gas, with 18 – or about one-third of the fleet – already converted.
“It just kind of further extends our commitment to a better environment,” Bruno said. “I really credit our owner, Dan Souders, who really made the commitment to pursue onsite solar generation. He really does have a strong commitment to improving the environment in everything we do.”
More than just a power supply, Bruno said the awning gives Western a place to park several of its trucks and protect them from the elements, particularly in winter.
Bruno said Western plans to expand its solar generation, with a new building being constructed on the company’s campus that is designed with rooftop solar in mind.
The awning project will have production meter readouts in Western’s administration building and shop that will offer a constant reminder of the company’s usage and savings.
“I think that will motivate the company to make inroads into further energy savings and reducing demand each day,” Bruno said.
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