Atlantic Millwork & Cabinetry Goes Solar
A small business in a small town makes big news with solar energy. Atlantic Millwork and Cabinetry is a family owned small business in Lewes specializing in windows, doors, cabinetry, decking, millwork products and more. Recently, they hosted Senator Tom Carper (D) from Delaware and Kathy Beisner, the acting director for USDA Rural development in MD/DE for a tour of their facility and their new solar energy system.
With the aid of a grant from Rural Energy for America Program that covered 25% of the cost, Atlantic Millwork & Cabinetry commissioned The CNC
Solar Company in Rehoboth Beach to install a 143 kW DC system on the southern facing upper roof of their warehouse.
Our mission at USDA Rural Development is to help increase economic opportunity and improve the quality of life in Rural America,” said Beisner. “One way we do that is through the Rural Energy for America Program that has helped roughly 55 rural small businesses and farmers in Delaware improve their bottom line by installing renewable energy systems and energy efficient equipment. Through Federal loan guarantees and grants the program helps cut carbon emissions, creates jobs and saves families hundreds of dollars on their utility bills each year.”
Small businesses across the United States are using USDA financing in innovative ways as a means to creating more sustainable communities and the enhancement of economic competitiveness.
Small Business Solar
“Small businesses like Atlantic Millwork & Cabinetry are the backbone of America’s economy,” said U.S. Senator Tom Carper. “Federal grant programs like this one from USDA Rural Development help our nation’s small businesses make investments that allow them to become more energy efficient and boost their bottom line at the same time. That’s what I like to call a win-win!”
The 550 panels system has taken Atlantic Millwork & Cabinetry nearly off the grid and provides almost 90% of the electricity it takes to operate their offices and warehouse. When asked about the decision to go solar Mark Woodruff, President of Atlantic Millwork & Cabinetry said, “The move made business sense, the savings in electricity, the funding from the USDA Rural development, and tax benefits made sense. When you take all those variables into account the system will pay for itself in six years. Not to mention it’s beneficial to the environment in our local community.” Co – Owner Richard Reed made similar remarks, “We had looked at doing the panel’s years ago, but now with the incentives it made sense to move forward with the project.”
The energy grant program has been around since 2002, but the first Delaware applications didn’t come in until 2009, Beisner said.
Since then 55 farms and businesses have participated.
Photo by TJ Redefer, Broker at Rehoboth Bay Realty and mission pilot for Sky Jack Pic’s