On Monday, October 7, 2019 Goodwill Industries of the Valleys commissioned their solar array with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 1493 East Main Street in Salem, VA. Goodwill Industries of the Valleys officers were joined by solar industry partners, local and state dignitaries.
In adopting solar technology, Goodwill Industries of the Valleys has enhanced its ability to perform its mission of helping individuals with disabilities or disadvantages get back to work and gain greater independence through training and employment programs, while becoming a community leader in environmental stewardship and sustainability in Southwestern VA.
Goodwill Industries of the Valleys CEO/President Bruce Phipps said, “Solar made economic sense for Goodwill and we thought it aligned with our value of Stewardship. The new solar array will save us money and be a long-term solution to rising energy costs, “The money saved will provide for more opportunities for future investment in people, programs and new ventures which will strengthen our mission and the communities we serve. We are hopeful that this is only the first step in reducing the carbon footprint of Goodwill and look forward to more of our facilities using solar.”
Goodwill Industries of the Valleys now joins Goodwill organizations throughout the country in recognizing the alignment of Goodwill’s mission and environmentally friendly energy initiatives. The 236kW solar array developed on the Salem Goodwill location will not only create approximately $400,000 in energy savings over the life of the project to fund Goodwill’s mission but will produce approximately 312,000 kWh of clean energy per year, eliminating 221 Metric Tons of CO2 from entering our atmosphere.
Steven Kelley, Goodwill Industries of the Valleys CFO said, “We are already one of the biggest recycling businesses in Virginia, and we’ve been at the forefront of saving power by embracing LED lighting in our stores and Jobs Campuses. Now we’re excited to go even greener by installing this large renewable energy source at our Salem facility. The fact that it will save money, too, just makes it all the better.”
“We applaud Goodwill of the Valleys for joining other Goodwills that have already gone solar and demonstrating how solar supports the movement’s overall mission of sustainability,” said Jim Kurtz, President RER. “Goodwill’s rooftop in Salem VA was previously getting worn down by the sun’s rays – now their solar array is capturing that solar energy and putting it to use. Going forward their roof will be protected in part by the solar modules and generating energy savings that free up more funds to go towards Goodwill’s important mission activities.”
RER Energy Group arranged financing for the array through Sunvestment Energy Group and Virginia Community Capital. “We welcomed the opportunity to unlock the potential of solar for a nonprofit like Goodwill,” explained Bill Greenleaf, SVP of Virginia Community Capital’s Real Estate Lending Team. “We partnered with RER Energy Group to create a construction loan which converted into permanent financing in response to the needs of this particular project”.
About RER Energy Group
RER Energy Group is an industry leader in providing cost-effective, high-quality solar systems throughout the United States and Latin America. The company has developed more than 45 megawatts of solar energy, obtaining over $30 million in grant proceeds for commercial, industrial, agricultural, municipal, and non-profit customers. For more information, visit www.rerenergygroup.com.