Seco Tools and EETN To Inaugurate First Solar PV System In East Tennessee

Global cutting tool leader and local agencies to host special event on April 8, 2011

Lenoir City, Tennessee, April 4, 2011 - On April 8, Seco Tools will host business leaders and federal, state and local officials at an event inaugurating a new solar photovoltaic (PV) system in Lenoir City, Tennessee. Owned by Seco Tools, the new 29.6 kilowatt (kW) solar PV system was developed, designed and constructed by Efficient Energy of Tennessee, LLC (EETN) of Powell.

Installed at Seco Tools’ Lenoir City production facility, the system is comprised of 126 SHARP solar modules manufactured in Memphis, using AGC Flat Glass manufactured in Kingsport. Seco Tools was awarded energy grant funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was applied to the total system cost.

The Sharp NU-U235F1 solar modules deployed in this 29.61 kW top-of-pole mount PV system were installed with the support of the Lenoir City Utilities Board (LCUB) and Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) under the TVA Generation Partners Program.  It is anticipated the solar power array will generate 37,067 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of clean, emissions-free energy annually.  This amount of power is equivalent to powering more than 3 average Tennessee homes annually.

“Globally, Seco Tools has focused a great deal of attention on minimizing our impact on the environment,” says Kurt Nordlund, President of Seco Tools, Inc. “The efforts undertaken at our facility in Lenoir City, Tennessee are representative of our company’s dedication to being an industry leader in terms of green production and operation.”

The installation originated when Seco Tools participated in a free energy seminar hosted at Family Brands International, LLC and presented by the Loudon County

Economic Development Agency in conjunction with Sam Hart, Technology and Manufacturing Consultant for the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce. Part of an economic development strategy, the seminar allowed participants to ask questions about taxes, grants, and installation and production of solar PV systems from solar system owner, Wampler’s Farm Sausage, and solar installer, EETN. As a result of this presentation, Seco Tools requested a solar PV financial proposal from EETN. The resulting technical proposal included design, engineering, cost, grants, available incentives, performance, and return on investment.  EETN’s proposal helped Seco Tools make the decision to take a leadership role in renewable energy and environmental stewardship through a clean energy investment made in East Tennessee. As a result, numerous jobs were created or protected because of the variety of grant funding and incentives available.

“In this new economy, companies have to look at ways to become more efficient in their business practices in order to reduce expenses while maintaining quality and competitiveness in the marketplace,” says Pat Phillips, President of the Loudon County Economic Development Agency. “The addition of the solar PV system at Seco Tools provides an excellent example of how investing capital in new technologies can help to achieve a competitive advantage while also protecting the environment.  Seco Tools is an exemplary corporate citizen and we are fortunate to have them in Loudon County.”

Seco Tools’ combination of energy grants paid for 60% of the total system cost, providing clean energy at considerably less cost for the business. The grants Seco Tools received include the U.S. Department of Treasury Renewable Energy Grant and the Tennessee Solar Institute Installation Grant. The installation of this solar system provided jobs and support to the growing solar energy industry in the state of Tennessee.

Seco Tools is providing clean energy to east Tennessee and making a profit doing so. As a participant in the TVA Generation Partners Program, the company will be paid a premium for the electricity it generates from the solar PV system for at least the next ten years. Seco Tools’ system is warranted to produce up to 80% of its generating capacity for the next 25 years. It should continue producing power beyond that for another 25 years or more. 

The U.S. Department of Treasury Renewable Energy Grant will pay 30% of the total cost of a solar PV system, without any cap. This federal grant requires a simple application to be submitted online after the system has been completely installed and commissioned. Businesses investing in renewable energy technology may apply for the grant if they begin construction on their system before December 31, 2011.

The Tennessee Solar Institute Installation grant paid $2.00 per watt for this 29.61 kW solar PV System. This funding has been fully allocated.

The TVA Generation Partners Program is a ten-year contract between TVA, the local utility and the business owner. As an incentive to sign up for the program, TVA will credit the business $1,000 on the company’s utility bill. In the contract, TVA agrees to purchase the clean energy produced by the system for the retail rate plus an additional $0.12, effectively cutting the payback of a solar system in half.

Using the grants to purchase a solar energy system goes beyond a good business investment. Having undertaken global green initiatives in recent years, Seco Tools was motivated by the opportunity to benefit the environment by producing clean energy. As active members in the local community, Seco Tools’ staff were also enthusiastic about the investment resulting in the creation of jobs in Tennessee. By purchasing a solar PV system with this grant assistance, funding is brought to the state of Tennessee that will increase the state’s tax base and would otherwise go to another state. Also, selecting a solar installer such as EETN, that exclusively uses Tennessee-manufactured SHARP solar panels, further supports jobs in the state.

“Seco Tools’ solar system is a huge accomplishment for both Seco and EETN and is a perfect example of the grant funding at work in the state of Tennessee,” said Harvey Abouelata, VP Sales and Marketing for EETN. “EETN uses SHARP solar panels, which are produced in Memphis, Tennessee, creating and protecting jobs in our state. Additionally, SHARP uses AGC Flat Glass, which is produced in Kingsport, Tennessee, further creating and protecting Tennessee jobs. Our company also benefits from the installation. Seco Tools benefits from a reduction in energy costs. The environment is improved by reduction of pollution and CO2. TVA benefits from a slight reduction in its load. The positive ripple effect is far-reaching, affecting jobs, the environment, and profits, resulting in an all-around victory.”

Seco Tools, Inc. has 40 wholly-owned subsidiaries, agents and distributors in more than 50 countries around the world. EETN’s installation for Seco Tools’ Lenoir City, Tennessee operation is the company’s first solar PV system.

About Seco Tools

Seco Tools is a leading provider of metalcutting solutions for milling, turning, holemaking and toolholding. The company prides itself on building close relationships with customers to effectively understand and address their needs. For more information on products and services from Seco Tools, please contact Lisa Seidl, Seco Tools, 2805 Bellingham Drive, Troy, Michigan 48083, Tel: 248-528-5444, Email: lseidl@secotools.com, or visit www.secotools.com/us.

About Efficient Energy of Tennessee

Efficient Energy of Tennessee (EETN) works with Commercial and Residential clients to increase their energy efficiency. EETN helps secure energy grant money for commercial

clients. Commercial solar systems are completely turnkey, from grant funding to final system commissioning. Our Residential and Commercial products and services include Solar Energy (NABCEP Certified, design, installation and warranty), Solar Thermal (design, installation and warranty), HERS rater, Energy Auditor, Weatherization, Power Factor, Proton CHyP Authorized installer, Webinars and Seminars, Grant Writing, AUTHORIZED SHARP Solar Dealer (the only solar panel made in Tennessee).

About Tennessee Solar Institute

The Tennessee Solar Institute (TSI) is a center of excellence between the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory that brings together scientists, engineers and technical experts with business leaders and policymakers to help speed the deployment of solar technology. Its mission is to advance the understanding of solar innovation and to inspire new ideas that speed the development and implementation of solar-based technology in Tennessee. TSI is housed at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. For more information, visit http://solar.tennessee.edu .

This project was made possible in part by a solar installation grant from The Tennessee Solar Institute. The Tennessee Solar Institute is part of the Volunteer State Solar Initiative, a comprehensive solar energy and economic development program that was established using $62.5 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 funding received by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development through the Department of Energy.

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MEDIA CONTACTS:
dgs Marketing Engineers®
Leslie Galbreath
317-813-2223
galbreath@dgsmarketing.com

or
Lisa Seidl 248.528.5444
Manager-Marketing Communications

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