Glen Raven launches largest solar farm in Upstate

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Glen Raven Inc. has launched a $2 million solar farm at its Anderson-based manufacturing plant. The 1-megawatt project is the largest solar energy installation in the Upstate owned by a privately held company.

“We are committed to sustainability best practices at our global facilities, and the solar array at Anderson is another step in our sustainable journey,” said Leib Oehmig, president and chief operating officer of Glen Raven.

Built in 1994, the North Carolina-based company’s Anderson plant – called Glen Raven Custom Fabrics – is the largest manufacturing facility for the Sunbrella brand of fabrics for awning, marine, and upholstery applications. The company employs over 700 people.

The 1-million-square-foot facility previously received natural gas and nuclear power from Duke Energy. But now the company’s 3,076-panel solar farm, constructed by Atlanta-based Hannah Solar, will power 100 percent of the facility’s lights.

It will also provide several environmental benefits, offsetting 317 tons of carbon emissions annually – the equivalent of planting 2,500 tree seedlings – and supplying enough energy to power about 105 homes, according to a press release.

“We’re proud to work with Glen Raven Custom Fabrics on this project,” said Mark Cann, regional business development manager for Hannah Solar. “It’s great to see a company that has a sustainable workplace.”

The solar farm is operated through the Duke Energy Solar Rebate Program, which offers a rebate of $1 per watt of installed generating capacity direct current. Glen Raven estimates that it will receive a payback in less than five years.

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