BRADFORD, Vt. — Copeland Furniture has increased its commitment to conservation by expanding its solar array, adding 396 kWh of solar capacity on its second factory building roof.
With the move, the family-owned company is building upon its previous investments in energy conservation. In August of 2016, the family-owned company built a 626 kWh solar array on factory grounds. According to figures provided by the EPA’s eGRID, it offsets nearly one million pounds of CO2 emission each year.
The first installation produces electricity equal to 64% of the manufacturer’s usage. With the just-installed second array, the output is now expected to exceed a Megawatt and equal almost 100% of Copeland’s electrical consumption, the company said. The company’s investment in the initiatives was about $2.3 million, it said.
Currently, 65% of Copeland’s factory heat is biomass-fueled by wood waste generated from its manufacturing operations, with the remainder provided by fuel oil. With the addition of a second biomass boiler now under construction, over 95% of the heat energy for the factories will be provided by biomass generated on-site. The biomass-fired boilers will displace over 30,000 gallons of #2 fuel oil per year and limit its use to backup and holidays.
In addition to energy generation, Copeland has invested in energy conservation in the form of variable frequency drives (VFDs) on many large electric motors, LED lighting throughout the factories, as well as significant upgrades to the facility itself.
“Preservation and stewardship are values that run deep in Vermont,” Copeland said in a release. “Since the company’s inception, Copeland Furniture has maintained its commitment to conservation, continually investing and innovating to preserve the natural world, which inspires and influences each of its designs.
“Copeland Furniture takes pride in using sustainably harvested hardwoods and GreenGuard Certified standard finishes.” Its efforts have been awarded the Silver Exemplary Membership status by Sustainable Furnishings Council and the Sage Award for environmental excellence by the American Home Furnishings Alliance.