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Central Florida Goodwill site switches to solar power

Goodwill Industries of Central Florida is setting an example for other Central Florida companies to follow by installing solar panels on their Waterford Lakes facility at 12170 Lake Underhill Road. An Orlando renewable energy company, NovaSol Energy, held their inaugural event on April 4, 2014 when the 14,000-square-foot, 153.7-kilowatt system was unveiled with local industry and civic leaders in attendance.

Goodwill Industries of Central Florida installed solar panels on their Waterford Lakes facility.
Goodwill Industries of Central Florida installed solar panels on their Waterford Lakes facility.
Mary Tindall, Costa Communications Group

In keeping with Goodwill's Made in America initiative, the rooftop system was constructed with 580 solar panels manufactured by Suniva, Inc., a company located in Norcross, Georgia. The system is expected to provide 75 percent of the facility's annual electricity needs.

Goodwill is already recognized as a means for people to reduce their carbon footprint by making available items that have been previously owned for sale rather than sending them to the landfills. In searching out ways to reduce the company's carbon footprint they approached NovaSol in January to create a solar generator to initiate clean-energy alternatives for their stores. They selected NovaSol due to their relationships with U.S. component manufacturers.

“By committing to American-made products, we can increase vocational opportunities for people in this country. We have an obligation to do that – it's Goodwill's principal purpose,” said Bill Oakley, president and chief executive officer of Goodwill Industries of Central Florida in a recent press release.

“As an organization, it's important for us to be good stewards, particularly of our non-renewable resources,” said Oakley. “This also was an opportunity for us to be out front on what could be a significant contributor to our energy efficiency.”

NovaSol reports the solar generator installed at the Goodwill site will pay for itself in six to seven years and after that point it will produce energy with an estimated value of $25,000 to $30,000 annually without additional cost.

For more information about NovaSol and the products and incentives they provide visit their website at novasolenergy.com. For more information about Goodwill Industries of Central Florida visit their website at goodwillcfl.org.