The largest commercial solar array in the state of Georgia (14,500 sq. ft., 144.48 kilowatts) was commissioned recently in Dalton by sustainable flooring maker USFloors. According to company, the installation is visible from Interstate 75.

“The array is expected to more than cover the energy needs for our green building, producing enough energy to power 10 Georgia homes. As part of USFloors' ongoing sustainability mission, we have more than quadrupled the amount of solar energy we provide to the community,” said USFloors President Piet Dossche.

By producing solar power on site, USFloors is able to take advantage of government and utility benefits, including a 30% Federal Grant, a 35% State Tax Credit and accelerated depreciation. North Georgia EMC pays USFloors a premium for the solar power that it generates. Ownership of power provides business owners with the opportunity to hedge against dramatic cost increases, and carries strong financial benefits, USFloors noted.

The system was installed by Alpharetta, Ga.-based United Renewable Energy LLC. William Silva, president of United Renewable Energy, noted “USFloors continues to show leadership in sustainable manufacturing practices and job growth. This solar power system is impressive in it's size alone, but more importantly because this is the largest commercial solar photovoltaic installation in Georgia since the 1996 Olympics.”

USFloors said it is actively working towards “a solar powered future” for Whitfield County. “Through our work with the Whitfield County Chamber, we have demonstrated how being sustainability stewards can benefit all local businesses,” said Dossche. This solar array created at least 15 jobs, while introducing Dalton's business community to ways to stay sustainable, the company added.