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Southern Energy Management Builds Large Solar Array For IDEAL Fastener
by Staff Writers
Oxford NC (SPX) Jan 25, 2012

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Southern Energy Management (SEM) is helping the world's second largest zipper manufacturer with sustainability efforts by installing its first solar array. IDEAL Fastener Corporation hired SEM to design and build a 198.24 kW solar photovoltaic system on the roof of their factory in Oxford, North Carolina. The project includes 826 of LG's 240-watt solar modules.

"This is a great way for IDEAL Fastener to offset utility bills by selling power back to the utility; but at the same time, they are making a statement in supporting sustainability," said David True, SEM Commercial Solar Services.

"It always means a little more for us to work with a company that really cares about the reasons behind a solar project."

Crews from SEM, based in Morrisville, North Carolina, started building the system in October and completed work by mid-December. The installation will generate an estimated 261,280-kilowatt hours of electricity per year, enough to power more than 20 average homes. With help from federal and state incentives, the project has just a four-year payback at current energy rates.

"Southern Energy Management made the entire process easy, especially since this was our first solar installation," said IDEAL Fastener Vice President Steven Gut. "This project was a perfect way to reduce our carbon footprint and make a smart business decision. It's a win-win for everyone involved."

This isn't the first time the company has made a conscious effort to promote sustainability; in 2007 the company began offering IDEAL Earth, a line of zippers using 100% recycled polyester yarn. Gut says the plan to harness solar power was something they had examined for several years, and the company is already considering adding more solar arrays to the same site or some of its overseas plants.

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