Earlier this week, Goodwill Industries of Central Florida went green by unveiling a solar array installed on the roof of its Oviedo retail store. As part of Goodwill’s “Solar for Good” initiative, the 140-kW, 12,000-square-foot array will generate cost savings to benefit job training and placement programs.
Orlando-based NovaSol Energy was the project’s developer, and Duke Energy supported the project with a SunSense grant. The 423-panel system will offset an estimated 80 percent of the store’s annual electricity needs. It is also part of Goodwill’s “Made in America” initiative and was manufactured by Suniva in the U.S.
Goodwill plans to compare electricity suppliers and install solar arrays at nine of its locations across Central Florida. Over the next 25 years, the installations are expected to save nearly $5.4 million and divert nearly 59,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Defraying these costs will allow the nonprofit to provide job training and placement to an estimated 42,000 more Central Floridians.
“Sustainability is something we practice every day at Goodwill – turning generous donations from our community into job training and placement opportunities for Central Floridians,” said Bill Oakley, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Central Florida. “Generating renewable energy with Solar for Good is the next natural step, and we look forward to serving more job-seekers in our community through this initiative.”
The Oviedo array is Goodwill’s second Solar for Good project. In April 2014, Goodwill installed a 14,000-square-foot rooftop array on its Waterford Lakes Retail Store. Since then, the array has offset approximately 76 percent of the store’s total energy. Between the Waterford Lakes and Oviedo stores, Goodwill’s combined solar capacity is now 293 kW, enough to power over 28 average Floridian homes annually.
“We’re proud to take part in this project and help advance Goodwill’s mission,” said Haseeb Qadri, president and CEO of NovaSol Energy, the project’s developer. “When organizations like Goodwill invest in their own solar resources, it not only benefits their own bottom line, it also lessens the burden on the energy infrastructure, which benefits the entire community.”
NovaSol Energy also installs its solar arrays at no cost to qualifying large-scale commercial clients under a long-term leasing arrangement that provides for relatively flat monthly energy bills.
Duke Energy Florida state president Alex Glenn added, “At Duke Energy, we are looking for ways to help our customers meet their sustainability goals and expand their use of renewable energy. The $130,000 grant we provided will help cover the cost of the solar array and allow the nonprofit to focus more of its funds on its important mission – helping people. We are honored to play a small role in that.”
For more about the Solar for Good project connect with @goodwillcfl and @dukeenergy or follow #solarforgood.