A Northland company is almost ready to activate more than 400 solar panels

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Solar panels can be seen on homes and businesses, and now there is a business in the Northland with 438 solar power panels that are almost ready to be activated.

Epicurean is a company known for its kitchen accessories, some of which might be in your home, and they are about to become home to the largest commercial solar array in the Twin Ports.

An idea developed in 2017 and started in the summer of 2022 is slated to be completed soon. This goal has been in the making for Epicurean since they moved into their headquarters in Superior in January 2017. “For the amount of energy that we consume, it is the right thing to do to start moving to a little bit more of a solar energy system for us,” said Epicurean CFO Dave Benson.

The installations of these solar panels will offset the company’s electricity cost, Epicurean CEO Tony Ciardelli shared, “we have about 60 AC machines in our production line, big vacuum pumps. Any time that we look at our electricity and our average bills are around $15,000 a month. This system is going to help us offset that by about 25%. So really significant savings we are looking at, possibly savings in the neighborhood over $50,000 a year.”

The amount of energy from the sun’s rays can help with powering some of their machines. “In a lot of the equipment and machinery that we are running, we have installed energy-efficient motors and things like that. But, this solar still will help offset those costs to run that machinery,” Benson says.

As the winter months are slowly starting to approach the Northland, Benson says that winter will be a learning curve for the company, but he knows what the biggest maintenance to the solar panels will be. “Keeping them free and clear of snow. There is going to be a little bit of maintenance there and upkeep in terms of just keeping the snow off it. But the sun will warm up the panels, and a lot of the snow will just melt and shed right off. But I guess time will tell. We’ll see how that shall go.”

With this goal on their energy efficiency program almost checked off, the company shares that they are helping to set an example for others. “We have had a lot of interest from neighbors on Connor’s point here already asking us how we went about putting this solar installation in and who and who the contractor was that we worked with. Any time that we can be a resource to help other people to provide clean energy to their business, we are definitely up for that,” Ciardelli shared.