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Home Nursery, a Midwest wholesale grower of landscape plants, proudly announces the installation of a total of 556 kilowatts (KW) solar photovoltaic electric systems, the largest aggregate system in the region, at its production farm in Albers, IL. In total there will be 10 systems installed over the next few months with a planned formal dedication in October 2016. Seven systems will be roof mounted solar panels on various buildings and three systems will be ground mounts, primarily operating water pumping stations. The solar arrays will range from the smallest system of 6.3 KW (similar to a typical residential installation) to the largest system at approximately 305 KW.
"Home Nursery is installing the new solar power system as one way to help reduce its carbon footprint and be a good corporate citizen," says Ann Tosovsky, President of Home Nursery, Inc. "It is important to do what we can when we can to help the environment as well as future generations," she said.
The energy output of the system is expected to exceed 740,000 KWh annually and will prevent the production of over 570 tons of CO2 each year. This is approximately equivalent to the annual energy consumption of 60 typical American homes. Each solar panel throughout the system carries a 25-year performance warranty. The estimated electricity cost savings of the project in just the first year is over $57,000.
The system is also expected to generate more than $450,000 in revenue from the in-state sale of Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) to the Illinois Power Agency (IPA) over the next 5 years. The IPA is purchasing SRECs from eligible solar energy system owners to quantify the environmental value of renewable energy produced in Illinois and to help bring the state into compliance with its Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) of 25% renewable energy generation by the year 2025.
The Home Nursery Solar Project also applied for funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Energy for America (REAP) Program. The REAP program is a commercial incentive that provides eligible rural small businesses and agriculture producers with grants and guaranteed loans toward qualifying energy efficiency and renewable energy system upgrades. REAP grants are competitively awarded twice per year and can cover up to 25% of the total of applicable energy systems.
"We're excited to see a major Midwestern business such as Home Nursery make the choice to go solar. It seems to have been a natural fit for them," notes Shannon Fulton, President of the Illinois Solar Energy Association and Director of Business Development at StraightUp Solar. "As environmental stewards, they are creating health benefits for their community; and as a long standing family-owned business, they are securing a cost-effective on-site renewable energy supply for years to come. Home Nursery is on the leading edge and we applaud them for recognizing the benefits of solar energy for their business."
About Home Nursery
Home Nursery is a family-owned and operated, innovative leader in producing and distributing field and container grown nursery stock to garden centers, distribution centers and landscaping companies. Founded in 1921, the company's 700 acre farm is located in Albers, Illinois, just 35 miles outside of St. Louis, MO. This central location allows the nursery to deliver products anywhere in its 13-state territory within a week or less. Home Nursery also maintains two full-service distribution centers-one in Albers, IL and the other in O'Fallon, Missouri-to meet local customers' needs.
About StraightUp Slolar
StraigtUp Solar, a turnkey solar energy integration company, designs and installs photovoltaic solar power system for homes, businesses, and nonprofits throughout much of Missouri and Illinois. With offices in St. Louis, Swansea and Bloomington, Illinois, StraightUP Solar has been a solar industry leader since 2006. StraightUp Solar has worked with more than 550 residents & businesses and non-profits, and is a full-licensed and insured electrical contractor. A Better Business Bureau A+, B Corp Certified business, StraightUp Solar is committed to bettering our community and ensuring everyone's cleaner, safer, and more secure energy future--one solar panel at a time. Learn more at straightupsolar.com
This year we are celebrating our 95-year anniversary! Back in 1921, my grandfather, Ernest Tosovsky Sr., began selling vegetables in his hometown of Edwardsville, IL and through his vision, as well as the leadership of my father and uncle, Chuck and Ernest Jr., we have grown from a one-man, home-town stand into one of the leading wholesale growers and suppliers in the Midwest.
Best Fruit Trees for the Midwest
Back in the old days my brothers and I played in and around the 20 or so odd fruit trees Dad planted in our large back yard. Come spring, however, it was "watch-the-fruit time." There was no playing around Dad's trees, especially when the fruit was ripening.
What Are The Best Magnolias For Zone 6-(Reviews)
When I hear the name Magnolia I typically think of large Southern Magnolias lining the drive of a southern plantation. The large glossy leaves. The huge white fragrant flowers. Ahhh I can picture it and smell the lemony scent of them now. What most people don’t know is that it is not the only type of Magnolia, and they aren’t just for the deep south.
Encore Azaleas For The Midwest (Review and Comparison)
When it comes to Azaleas, Midwesterners have always had the challenge of finding varieties that exhibit all the traditional attributes that make azaleas so popular in the south, and also have a reasonable level of hardiness. Southerners have always had a wide variety of plants of different shapes, sizes, and flower color variations to choose from in order to satisfy their azalea sweet tooth. But we in the Midwest have been limited and as re-blooming azaleas have come into existence that limitation has become more pronounced. Any azalea that blooms more than once a season is going to be more desirable than one that doesn’t, simply due to the increased number of days in bloom. The fact is that the vast majority of azaleas are hardy to the southern zones; 8, and 7 but not zones 6, 5, or 4, which represents most of theMidwest. As a result, the breeding programs that have been searching for that re-blooming characteristic are yielding plants that are not mid-west hardy because the gene pool for hardiness is just so limited.
Best Spreading Junipers In The Midwest (Reviews/Ratings)
When you hear the word Juniper, do you think about that overgrown prickly bush in front of your grandma’s house? I think visions of such a bush come to many people who hear the “J” word. Well that’s just not true anymore. There are varieties of Junipers that would look great in just about any landscape anywhere. Spreading Junipers have about as many uses as there are varieties, and that’s a bunch. Three of the best-selling Junipers in the Midwestern area are Sea Green, Grey Owl, and Saybrook Gold and trust me these are not your grandma’s old Junipers.
Preparing the nursery for winter
Winter preparation at Home Nursery is not a one-time event, but rather a year long process. With container production, many of the activities and decisions of the year must be completed with a forward-looking thought of winter. There is nothing more disheartening than to produce a beautiful crop through the growing season only to lose it or have it damaged during the winter. Much can be done to protect crops from winter damage through careful planning throughout the year.
What are the Best Ornamental Grasses in the Midwest?
Ornamental grasses have been around for a long time, but only over the last several years have they become such a prominent feature in the landscape. Landscape/Horticulture professionals have come to recognize not only the hardiness and easy care of ornamental grasses but also the versatility and amazing beauty they provide. We’ve talked to our customers who told us what their favorite grasses are and why. Let’s take a closer look at three of the best-selling ornamental grasses in the Midwest.