October 21, 2014

Fairfield business says solar power will make it “net zero”

solar panels

A southeast Iowa business today will claim a new accomplishment in the name of “green” energy.

Officials with the Fairfield company, Sky Factory, will flip the switch to become Iowa’s first “net-zero” solar-powered business.

Company spokeswoman Sandra Ward says the company’s solar panels are very special — and very large. Ward says the array is 3,500-square feet of photovoltaic cells and 54 kilowatts.

She says it’s the largest-privately owned solar array in Iowa.

 The array will generate 104% of Sky Factory’s power needs, making the company “net-zero” when it comes to energy consumption. Ward says the solar array will generate roughly the same amount of power the company will be using day-to-day, month-to-month.

Ward says, “It all balances out so that some months you might have more production from the sun, some months may be less, but in the end over the whole year, it ends up at net zero.” Sky Factory creates backlit sky-image ceilings, illuminated nature wall murals, and digital cinema sky and nature display systems.

The products are used primarily as stress-relieving technologies in healthcare facilities. The solar array was installed by the Fairfield company, Ideal Energy.

By Andrew Zupkoff, KMCD, Fairfield