Berner Air Curtains Gets $537K Grant to Install Solar Panels

Business Journal Daily
September 7, 2023

Berner Air Curtains recently received a $537,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to support the installation of solar panels.

The grant was awarded through the USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program, which is part of the Inflation Reduction Act passed in August 2022.

“Our mission at Berner Air Curtains is to save energy and create healthy, comfortable environments,” said David Rimbey, president and CEO. “We’re excited to more fully incorporate the mission into our organization with solar energy.”

The company’s journey to net zero began approximately five years ago with a conversation at a clean energy forum between Denise Grady, Berner’s CFO, and Sharon Pillar, executive director of Pennsylvania Solar Center, a nonprofit that helps businesses and organizations explore solar options.

“Through their organization, we were able to get information on the current state of solar technology and funding options available,” Grady said. “We did the evaluation. It made financial sense but, more importantly, it is an outward sign of our mission of sustainability.”

EIS Solar, located in Carnegie, Pa., began installing the new solar array in June. It is expected to be fully operational by the end of the year.

“There are so many incentives to go solar right now that can save businesses and nonprofits thousands of dollars,” said Leo Kowalski, program director at the Pennsylvania Solar Center. “Many organizations want to learn more about using these incentives to their advantage but do not know where to begin. That’s where our G.E.T Solar and G.E.T. Solar Communities programs come in. We’ll answer any questions you might have – like whether your organization is even a good candidate for solar, what kind of financing programs are available and then, ultimately, connect you with qualified and properly accredited solar developers.”

The solar panel installation has the capacity to produce almost one gigawatt of power annually, according to a news release.

“As our company continues its net zero trajectory, this project is just another step in our efforts toward sustainability through reducing our carbon footprint,” Rimbey said. “We greatly appreciate the USDA grant and the guidance of [Pennsylvania] Solar Center while installing our system, with both together enabling our company to approach a net-zero status more quickly.”


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