Businesses Look for New Ways to Incorporate Renewable Energy

What’s the greenest possible way to do business? While recycling and cutting down on paper waste is a good start, SimGar, a Florida-based business, has taken green to the net level by installing a 150.3 kW carport and rooftop solar panel. The building and its associated carport now has about 500 total solar panels.

The system was designed to provide 230,000 kWh of electricity to the building each year, and some of this energy is expected to help power electric-vehicle charging stations that are built into the carport itself. Chris Cantolino, owner of SimGar, says that he decided on the installation because it matched so well with their own product — a self-contained home gardening system which can, if one chooses, be powered by a solar panel.

While Cantolino does care about being green, he sees a lot of his primary motivation as being purely about business and staying competitive. “If you create all your energy with solar, then you’re lowering your operational costs, and it just makes good business sense,” explains Cantolino in a released statement.

Region Solar was the company installing SimGar’s solar paneling.

“To our knowledge, the installation at SimGar may be the largest solar installation in the history of Manatee County,” said Andrew Tanner, owner of Region Solar. It’s likely a smart PR move as well, considering that the general public — and hence, many of SimGar’s potential customers — are increasingly interested in green and the advent of clean energy. Every year, wind and solar energy become increasingly popular as alternative sources of energy.

Fast Company took a different direction than SimGar, looking for ways to bring energy to the average individual. With the help of crowd funding, the company was able to manufacture a portable wind turbine that can generate enough energy to charge laptops and phones. Retailing for about $350, the turbine is specifically designed to capture the low-wind speeds that are found in backyards and on roofs.

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