USFloors is the largest producer of solar energy in Georgia.
November 12, 2010, Dalton, GA – USFloors has commissioned its third solar photovoltaic (PV) project intended to supply half of the facility’s energy. This installation of 365.04 kw is the largest solar array in Georgia, eclipsing the record once held by the Georgia Tech Natatorium, installed for the 1996 Olympics. Alpharetta-based United Renewable Energy installed 1521 Suniva solar panels and an SMA Sunny Central Inverter for this ARRA, GEFA Grant funded project . The combined output of all three USFloors solar arrays will total over half a Megawatt, and makes USFloors the largest producer of solar energy in the state of Georgia. USFloors is producing enough solar energy to power 54 average American homes, offsetting 11,400 tons of CO2 and nearly 23 million vehicle miles.
Commerce in Dalton has thrived for decades, providing jobs, growth and a competitive marketplace. In recent years, the manufacturers that made Dalton the Flooring Capital of the World have been challenged to survive changes in the economy. USFloors, a distributor and manufacturer of eco-friendly cork and bamboo, has “greenstreamed”
their operations, adding jobs while much of Dalton struggles with unemployment, and making investments in renewable energy. USFloors has installed over 540 kW of solar panels and is in the process of developing a LEED certified facility and has emerged as a leader in sustainable flooring. Now, they have commissioned the largest solar array in the state. USFloors is reducing its carbon footprint by walking the talk.
Piet Dossche, President of USFloors, Inc., began his green campaign in 2007, becoming the only cork and bamboo flooring supplier with manufacturing capability in the country. A recipient of the Green Step Award in 2010, the company is committed to exclusively using sustainable resources for its flooring, and complying with rigorous U.S. and European environmental standards. By following strict Forest Stewardship Council guidelines, USFloors avoids clear cut or non-managed plantations, and promotes green building through renewable energy and LEED initiatives. This has earned them a position of respect within the sustainability community. USFloors is now the largest producer of solar energy in the state of Georgia. To install this solar array, the company took advantage of a 30% Federal Grant and a 35% State Grant given by the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority.
USFloors’ expansion of their solar investment sets an example as a cleaner, greener way to power a manufacturing business. According to Dossche, “USFloors strives to be an example of how a privately-owned company can be a part of the effort to contribute to the solution of cleaner power.” In building the state’s flagship solar array, USFloors partnered with local, Georgia-based companies to ensure that the state’s economy was benefitted as well. Norcross-based Suniva provided the solar panels for the array. Georgia-based United Renewable Energy expanded its Dalton workforce to maintain a commitment to developing skilled labor in the communities it services.