Residents of Lake County, Illinois, can drink a little greener in 2021 thanks to the solar installation that now powers Kloss Distributing in Gurnee. Kloss Distributing moves 4 million cases of beer, wine and soft drinks to 1,500 locations across Lake County each year – and with its new installation fully activated, all of the company’s electricity is now generated by the solar panels that cover Kloss’ warehouse roof. Kloss Distributing expects the solar installation to save the company $70,000 per year in electric costs.
Kloss partnered with General Energy Corporation (GEC), to provide a turnkey solar solution that covered 100% of the company’s electric needs. GEC designed and installed the 700 kilowatt solar system, managed the connection to the electric grid, and trained Kloss staff on the operation of the system.
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Kloss Distributing has been operating in northern Illinois since 1973. The Kloss family had long been interested in installing solar to lower the business’s energy costs, make operations more sustainable and set Kloss apart from the competition. In 2020, the company decided the opportunity was too good to pass up. Advances in solar technology, combined with the availability of federal and state incentives, meant the Kloss solar array would pay for itself in only about two years and generate $70,000 in energy savings every year thereafter. As President Mike Kloss put it, “It’s a good business decision and great for the environment.”
GEC also helped Kloss apply for incentives through state and federal renewable energy programs to make sure the distributor maximized its return on investment. GEC has provided solar and energy efficiency solutions for commercial customers in Illinois and across the country since 1985. In the past year, GEC delivered turnkey solar solutions for several Illinois distribution, manufacturing and industrial businesses.
By generating its own clean solar electricity, Kloss Distributing will reduce CO2 pollution by 639 metric tons each year – the equivalent to taking 138 cars off the road.
After 47 years in business, Kloss is continuing to invest in making operations more economic and more sustainable. The Kloss family is confident that switching to solar power will help their business continue to succeed for generations to come.
— Solar Builder magazine