“All of these things are all very positively received by the customer base and the consumer,” he said. “So sustainability and corporate responsibility, all of these things are major parts of doing business.”
Magnolia began exploring solar-generation systems about five years ago. But the technology wasn’t economically feasible out back then, Porter said.
“We’d talk about it about once a year, but something just didn’t ring right,” he said.
Slightly more than a year ago, the association revisited solar generation and put out a request for bids. Three companies, including Cenergy, responded.
Porter said the decision was easier this time because of attractive interest rates, soaring electric rates and technology that had made great strides from five years ago.
More than 3,000 solar panels occupy about 2.5 acres of marginal, vacant land adjacent to the packinghouse.
Porter said they never considered a roof-mount system because they wanted to retain the option of reconfiguring the packing line, which could change the roof structure.
The association is involved in a 10-year lease-purchase program and will own the system at the end of that period.