Van Gundy’s goes green with solar

The roofs of two buildings at Van Gundy’s Recyle Center, 645 Fourth Ave., have been fitted with an array of solar panels. The company expects to see a three-year payback on its roughtly $170,000 investment.

Van Gundy’s Recycle Center is channeling the power of the sun to drive the machinery it uses to crush and package thousands of pounds of metal.

The new solar array atop two of the buildings at Van Gundy’s, 645 Fourth Ave., in lower downtown Grand Junction, generates 85 kilowatts of electricity.

That’s enough for the 82-year-old business to virtually eliminate its electricity costs that average more than $3,025 a month.

Van Gundy isn’t going off the grid, but it will cycle electricity into it when the solar array produces more than the company needs, said Holly Evans-Ramsey, customer-service manager.

At those times when Van Gundy’s needs more power than it generates on its own, it will draw electricity back in.

The array, installed by Atlasta Solar of Grand Junction, “turns the recycling center into a truly green environment.”

On the whole, Van Gundy’s will contribute more to the grid than it takes, meaning the company expects to see a three-year payback on its roughly $170,000 investment, including accelerated depreciation, Evans-Ramsey said.

The array is one of the Grand Valley’s largest, said Adrienne Boggess, who handles marketing for Atlasta Solar.

The 392-panel array is the biggest installation for Atlasta, which was founded in 1979, Boggess said.

“It’s a start,” Dean Van Gundy, president of the company, said of the solar array.

“We’ve got to do something to save the planet” and reduce emissions, Van Gundy said.

“Otherwise, we’ll end up like China with a pall of smoke all over the place.”


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