Friday, May 15, 2009

The Commercial Greening of the World

The twisted troglogdyte rant that global warming is a ruse has about as much credibility as Bristol Palin's call for abstinence when the 19-year-old unwed mother said, “abstinence is the only 100 percent way to prevent pregnancy.”

The diminishing cabal who rails against global warming, like Noah Robinson, an Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine professor who preaches 100 percent abstinence from climate change initiatives, assert that research does not show human use of hydrocarbons is harmful. To the contrary, they claim, increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is helpful (Yeah, great fun for marathon runners at the Beijing Olympics).

Last week, I reported on the state of Wilmington conference. While Aisle Say hopes Wilmington may be deemed “World Class,” that approbation is still down the yellow brick road.

One panel member, Scott Johnson of the development and real estate company McConnell Johnson, is a visionary for the greening of the world. With this company's innovations, we may arrive at the Emerald City before submersion of our coasts by melting ice packs.

Like any owner, they sought to cut energy costs. This financial interest, allied with their own passion, led to, a subsidiary company that installs a patented solar electric roof racking system.

Ironically, they were the landlord for Astro Power, one of the first U.S. solar companies that went under, and Johnson realized Astro Power's mission and made it his own.

Saab Sports Car Service in Wilmington installed the system last year. Half the cost was covered by state grants. The feds kicked in as well. Today, the SolarDock is generating 80 percent of the company's electricity. Bottom line, Saab will have its investment returned in five years, will bid sayonara to electric bills and, in fact, will be selling electric back to Delmarva. The pollution reduction will be the equivalent of 3 million vehicle miles.

The company is expanding exponentially globally, growing 350 percent this year alone from last.

Astra Zeneca on Concord Pike has a modular installation. SolarDock's biggest is in Madrid at the headquarters of Otis Elevator.

Flat roofs are necessary, so SolarDock deals in commercial only.

The company has resolved many of the issues that were problematic with solar installations, including creating a modular system such that a commercial owner can add photo voltaic cells as the need arises, engineering a mounting system that does not penetrate a roof and violate its warranty and angling the modes so that ice and snow do not stick and reduce electrical production.

All this makes for a low maintenance, high return product that protects our environment.

American innovation has continually led the world. One reads of a daunting issue and considers that someone or some company will come up with a resolution. It appears SolarDock is just one of these valuable – and world class – American success stories.

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