Harvard Factory Automation Inc. has installed 260 solar panels on the roof of its recently expanded facility in Harvard, Ill.
The company said it invested $280,000 in the solar energy upgrade to reduce its carbon footprint. The 93.6 kilowatt array of solar panels was purchased through SolarUp. Moxie Solar Inc., based in North Liberty, Iowa, installed the system earlier this year.
"Our usage will remain the same as recent, but the solar will provide over 90 percent of our need," Chuck Weidner, HFA's president and co-founder, said in an email to Plastics News.
Weidner is expecting "a quick payback" of the investment due to several incentives, including the federal solar tax credit, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Energy for America Program, ComEd efficiency rebate, and Illinois state renewable energy credits.
Weidner said the company has made other energy efficiency changes in the past few years, including upgrades in lighting and heavy equipment.
HFA also has plans to use electric vehicles in the near future. The company currently has a deposit on an electric Rivian truck that will be used for service and delivery, Weidner said. Other staff vehicles are also planned, he said.
HFA designs and manufactures material handling automation equipment, such as conveyors, automatic box fill systems, work tables and robot guarding, for the plastics injection molding sector. The company's Harvard facility — now 35,000 square feet after the recent 15,000-square-foot building expansion — employs 21.