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Romeoville company pursues largest solar array in Midwest

Brian Haug (left), the director of Continental Energy Solutions, discusses solar energy with U.S. Rep. Bill Foster Monday at Magid Glove in Romeoville.[]

The Metropolitan Mayors Caucus held its Environmental Committee and Energy Subcommittee meeting Monday at Magid Glove in Romeoville to discuss the recent installation of solar panels on the company’s roof.

Magid Glove manufactures protective equipment for workers, and, after learning of some of the benefits of solar energy, the company decided to try it out.

“It just made a lot of sense for us,” President Harvey Cohen said.

Magid’s 13.5-acre solar panel rooftop at 1300 Naperville Drive is expected to be finished in October. As of Monday, the solar array was about 75 percent installed, according to a news release. The panels still need wiring.

The array will produce enough electricity to offset 100 percent of Magid’s annual load, which includes cooling, lights and energy bills for its manufacturing facility, Cohen said. He said Magid’s energy bill is about $40,000 a month.

“Businesses are starting to realize, not only do you save energy, but your building becomes more valuable immediately,” said U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, D-Naperville. “Saving the planet is a useful thing.”

The solar panels will keep 18 people employed for six months, said Brian Haug, the director of Continental Energy Solutions. There are nearly 10,500 panels.

The payback period for the installation of the solar panels is expected to be about five to seven years, Cohen said. Another state incentive is solar renewable energy credits, which provide further financial support.

“The incentives are better than they’ve ever been in the state right now, and the fuel source is free – aka, the sun,” Haug said.

The 3.5 megawatt solar array will be the largest in the Midwest, according to the release.

“It’s a great idea. Otherwise, all this roof space just sits here doing nothing,” Romeoville Mayor John Noak said. “It’s the best practice for this community, and we want to help spread the word on how important this is.”

The Mayors Caucus is expected to meet again in September.