NEW HAMPSHIRE — Now with a renewable energy source that will last for billions of years, the Bethel Engineering- Equipment, located at 13830 McBeth Road, will not be running out of electricity any time soon.
Bethel Engineering President David Whitaker has always been fascinated with solar energy but had not considered utilizing the renewable energy source for the company until recently.
“As I’ve moved into business and got older, I’ve been keeping an eye on the industry and what’s going on,”said Whitaker. “I felt like the technology was mature enough that it was worth looking at.”
In fall 2017, he and his administrative assistant, Laura Biederman, conducted an extensive research for solar panel installations. They then evaluated presentations from three solar panel companies and chose Third Sun Solar out of Athens.
The estimated $400,000 project includes an installation of 720 Sun Power solar panels, which are equipped with 252 kilowatts worth of power.
Net metering, a process of transferring surplus energy to a public-utility power grid, will allow the company to be cost and energy efficient.
“During the daytime, I make extra electricity and it goes t0 Dayton Power and Light and they literally bank it for me,” said Whitaker. “They act like a big battery. At night when we need power, Dayton Power and Light gives it back to me.”
Citizens National Bank financed the project and the company has also applied for a grant that, if approved, will help assist with the funding of the project. There is a five to 10-year payback with an estimated product life of 25 to 30 years.
A few incentives include free electricity once the cost of the solar panels have been paid in full. Additionally, the company can take advantage of the government’s 30 percent tax credit on solar installations.
Aside from a few colleges in the Auglaize County area, Whitaker believes that Bethel will be the only area business that utilizes renewable energy. The solar panels will officially be in operation by the end of the third week of July.
Bethel Engineering and Equipment Inc. is a sheet metal contractor company that specializes in turn-key finishing systems, conveyor systems, paint, welding, laser cutting, shearing, braking, machining, ultrafiltration systems and more.
“Now with these solar panels, we look forward to cutting steel with the sun,” said Whitaker.
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews.