4.3 Million Dollar Solar Energy Project

In order to become more environmentally responsible and energy efficient, Buckman’s, Inc. installed a solar energy system which was completed June 1, 2010.  Pennsylvania is steadily becoming a leader in renewable energy systems and Buckman’s, Inc is proud to have one of the largest solar energy systems in the state.  In total, the $4.3 million solar system that Buckman’s, Inc. installed will save the company $5 million over the next 25 years.

The 620 kilowatt high-efficiency solar energy system, engineered and installed by Metro-Tek Electrical Services, utilizes almost 3,000 Sanyo panels.  These solar panels are regarded as the highest quality solar panels available and cover the roof of the warehouse building and tank farm at Buckman’s, Inc.  The solar panels will convert sunlight into electricity in order to power the state-of-the-art sodium hypochlorite manufacturing facility at Buckman’s, Inc.  In total, the high-efficiency solar system will produce around 700,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year.  It will also offset 850,000 pounds of carbon dioxide each year which is equivalent to conserving more that 40,000 gallons of gasoline.

Inside the corporate headquarters of Buckman’s, Inc., there is a television screen that displays up to the minute statistics about the solar energy system. This is a great way for Buckman’s, Inc. employees and visitors to see exactly how much energy is being saved by the solar panel system.  Since June 1, 2010, the power generated by the solar panel system could power over 425 homes each month.  Also, you could drive one car from New York City to Los Angeles over 1,780 times with the CO2 avoided by this power plant.  Finally, Buckman’s Inc, would have to plant 340,437 trees to offset the amount of CO2 avoided yearly by the solar energy system.

Unfortunately, solar energy systems are not an affordable energy alternative for most businesses. Buckman’s, Inc. was awarded a $520,000 grant by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority which covered 12% of the project’s cost.  In fact, the solar energy system was made possible because 60% of the $4.3 million project was covered by federal and state grants.  This solar energy system was only step one of a four stage plan to “go green.”  Buckman’s, Inc. is currently looking into federal and state funding in order to install a wind turbine at their Pottstown headquarters, put solar panels on all three headquarters’ buildings in order to heat them, and use solar power to heat the five ski and snowboard shops in the Philadelphia area that Buckman’s owns and operate.  Buckman’s, Inc. and Metro-Tek have also partnered with the Pottstown School District to provide a renewable energy curriculum for middle school students.

Founded in 1965, Buckmans, Inc. is one of the largest distributors of swimming pool chemicals, water treatment chemicals, and ice melt products in the Northeast United States.  Buckman’s, Inc. is currently servicing customers in 38 states.  Buckman’s, Inc. is one of the premier East Coast distributors of sodium hypochlorite, muriatic acid, diatomaceous earth, calcium, magnesium, rock salt, and several other products.  In addition to the distribution business, Buckman’s also manufactures sodium hypochlorite in a state of the art manufacturing plant.  Buckman’s, Inc. has been family owned and operated since incorporation and is proud to continue that tradition today.  In addition to the chemical business, the Buckman family also owns Buckman’s Ski and Snowboard Shops.  There are five stores in eastern PA and www.buckmans.com is the largest ski and snowboard specific retail website.