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    Lee County Companies Going Solar
    January 15, 2016 - Local welding and manufacturing shops anticipate a bright future with their recent instillation of solar energy at their shops. Huffman Welding & Manufacturing and Steffensmeier Welding & Manufacturing have both recently installed solar fields at their facilities.

    Huffman Welding’s solar field is a 500 panel field producing 300,000 kwh of energy yearly with a 25-year warranty on equipment. The project was installed a few months ago by Mohrfeld Electric and the power was just turned on in January. Huffman’s invested was over $500,000 in this project, expecting the new system to handle over 90% of their yearly energy needs at this time.   

    “This investment made sense for us as a small industry for several reasons. We are able to get a better return on investment over many larger energy users that get better rates due to the volume they use,” commented Jason Huffman. “We are excited to contribute to carbon reductions with this green investment along with keeping our costs low going forward so we can continue to be competitive for our customers.”

    Steffensmeier Welding also recently installed a solar field at their facility, instillation process completed by Ideal Energy Solar pictured to the left, transitioning to 100% clean solar energy. Situated on 3.5 acres, the newly completed Steffensmeier solar field is Southeast Iowa’s largest installation and has earned Steffensmeier Welding and Manufacturing the distinction of being the first industrial operation of this scale to be 100% solar powered. The 430.66 kW array is comprised of 1,412 305W panels and 21 inverters, and will offset 8,917 metric tons of CO2 over the next 25 years. “The economics behind the project made the decision easy,” said owner Jenny Steffensmeier, who is looking forward to saving an estimated $92,000 per year in electrical costs. Over a 25-year period of time, the business is projected to save nearly $2.5 million in avoided utility costs.

    Both companies are looking forward to not only the cost saving benefits but stated it’s what they wanted to do to help the environment and Southeast Iowa.
  • Lee County Economic
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