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Columbia Sportswear to use Tanner Creek Solar System
27
Oct '08
Columbia Sportswear Company and Tanner Creek Energy announced that the companies have begun installation of a 100 KW grid-tied solar electric system at Columbia's Portland, Oregon headquarters.

When completed, the system will consist of a total of 570 photovoltaic (PV) panels mounted on the roof of two of Columbia's buildings. Power generated by the system will be fed back into the power grid through a meter and credited to Columbia's account. Tanner Creek Energy, an Oregon-based developer of commercial and industrial scale solar electric systems, designed the solar system for Columbia and is acting as the project's general contractor.

"Columbia's participation in this project demonstrates the growing viability of sustainable energy solutions and reinforces Oregon's leadership in solar energy," said Kristen Sagan, Columbia's sustainability manager. "Columbia is actively seeking to implement best practices that will reduce the use of non-renewable energy sources at our headquarters in Washington County. We chose to partner with Tanner Creek Energy for this project because of our shared commitment to the local economy and to supporting the adoption of more renewable energy sources."

Alan Hickenbottom, founder of Tanner Creek Energy, stated, "In addition to helping customers like Columbia take advantage of the financial incentives and energy benefits solar provides, we are committed to building an industry in Oregon that supports local manufacturing and trade association jobs."

Tanner Creek sourced product from two Oregon companies in the design and installation of Columbia's roof-mounted PV system. Solar World USA of Hillsboro provided the 570 solar panels and PV Powered of Bend provided the utility inverter which connects the system to the local utility grid.

Columbia expects to recover the initial cost of the system within the next three-and-a-half to four years. In addition to its solar initiative at its headquarters, Columbia's Mountain Hardwear subsidiary in Richmond, CA has also embarked on a solar energy project this year.

Tim Boyle, Columbia Sportswear's president and chief executive officer, said, "Columbia Sportswear pioneered Omni-Shade apparel to protect outdoor enthusiasts from the harmful effects of the sun's rays. But those same rays can be safely harnessed to benefit the environment by reducing reliance on non-renewable resources. By implementing renewable energy projects such as these, Columbia is proud to join the growing list of pioneers who are demonstrating that solar energy systems are not only environmentally responsible but also make good business sense."

Columbia Sportswear Company

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