The Renewable Energy category features the use of renewable energy on a small or large scale, such as civic or commercial implementation or residential or small business integration. Renewable energy includes sources such as wind, solar, hydropower, or geothermal. These projects will seek and have success in decreasing use of fossil fuels and reducing carbon emissions, as well as serving as viable models for others looking to adopt renewable energy solutions.
The Steffensmeier Solar Field was the result of employees meeting to determine the benefits of solar energy at the manufacturing plant. The Steffensmeier Solar Field is functioning at 100%, or 430.66 kW, and comprised of 1412-305 watt panels spanning 3-½ acres adjacent to the manufacturing headquarters in Pilot Grove, Iowa and will significantly reduce overall costs over a 4-5 year time period and have a return on costs after 5-6 years. It was designed to power all of the company’s electrical needs on a net-annual basis and is the first industrial manufacturing operation in Iowa. Using net-metering, the array will overproduce electricity in the summer, allowing credit to build with the serving utility. The credit is then drawn upon during winter months when production is lower due to shorter daylight periods and more cloudy days.