3PL Uses Government Incentives to Go Solar

Seko Worldwide, a third-party logistics provider (3PL), recently installed a 31-kilowatt, 143-panel solar voltaic system to generate most of the electricity needed for its warehouse in Portland, Ore.

The 220-watt polycrystalline solar panel system, which went live in December 2009, generates 80% to 90% of the electricity the facility needs, according to Seko. The company uses a net metering system to produce a net credit of electricity, which is then sold to Portland General Electric. Seko Worldwide expects to save approximately $600 on its electric bill each month.

The federal investment tax credit paid approximately $50,000 in federal tax credits, and a tax credit from the state of Oregon paid for 50% of the system. The Energy Trust of Oregon put $54,740 toward the system.

Eugene, Ore.-based Grape Solar supplied the panels.

"Federal, state and local financial incentives reduced the total cost of the solar installation by nearly 80%," says Paul Burkhart, owner of SEKO Worldwide in Portland. "All projections indicate we will achieve an ROI in just three years. After that, we will enjoy virtually free electricity."

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