ALLEGAN — One of the largest solar energy installations in Allegan County is now in place at Allegan U-Stor Corp., 690 Airway Drive in Allegan.
Two buildings at Allegan U-Stor now sport a total of 104 solar energy panels on the rooftops, installed by Solar Winds Power Systems LLC of Shelbyville and Kalamazoo.
Mike Linsea, an owner and project manager at Solar Winds, said the system is almost ready to begin full production, which can be up to 21.6 kilowatts of power under peak conditions. Over the course of a year, it is expected to produce about 25,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, which is expected to be more than U-Stor can use.
“It’s a net metering scenario, which runs the meter backward,” said Linsea, reducing the company’s electric bill. Linsea said he was not at liberty to divulge the cost of the installation, and U-Stor owner Jerry Hartman was not available at press time.
Allegan U-Stor is also “greening” part of its office operations, with a new computer system including hardware and software that will eliminate some paper printouts of transactions. Payments and storage space reservations by customers also will be possible online.
Allegan U-Stor started in 1988 with one storage building and has expanded its operations to more than 21 buildings at three locations, with a total of more than 400 storage spaces. In 2007, the company expanded beyond the self-storage business with the addition of a full-service copy center, authorized shipping center for USPS and Fed Ex, private mailbox rentals, scanning, shredding, lamination and faxing services.