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FesslerUSA recieves $1.0 mn grant for solar energy project

Dec '08
FesslerUSA, a leading Pennsylvania manufacturer of quality knitwear, received a $1.0 million grant on Monday from the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority (PEDA) to help fund the installation of its Solar Energy Project.

According to Bonnie L. Meck, FesslerUSA's Chief Operating Officer and Chief Sustainability Officer, “The Solar Energy Project, a $5.6 million solar photovoltaic power plant to be constructed adjacent to the facility, will provide 667,000 kWh per year of electricity for FesslerUSA's manufacturing facilities in Deer Lake, Pennsylvania.”

“As an integral part of the FesslerUSA Corporate Sustainability Program, this system will avoid air pollution from traditional power sources by an estimated 506 tons of carbon dioxide annually,” she added.

The FesslerUSA Corporate Sustainability Program began several years ago when customers began requesting garments made from organically grown cotton. As the company explored organic supply options, it embraced the concept of sustainability and instituted a comprehensive program that includes energy efficient renovations to the Deer Lake facility, (such as T5 lighting, reflective paint to reduce lighting needs, variable speed drives on motors and water pumps, etc.), the recycling of production byproducts, sourcing from local vendors and the use of raw materials produced with a minimal environmental impact.

As Meck noted, “We all recognize the long-term importance of protecting our environment. At FesslerUSA, we believe that the reduction of our carbon footprint not only is the right thing to do, it also enhances our competitiveness in this global economy. By controlling our energy costs, this solar project will help to ensure that we continue to grow and employ Pennsylvanians as we have for more than a century.”

The Ben Franklin Partnership supported a feasibility study of the Solar Energy Project, conducted by the Northampton Community College's ElectroTechnology Applications Center in 2007. And FesslerUSA also appreciates the generous support and advice from other individuals and organizations, including the Sustainable Energy Fund, the West Brunswick Township officials and the late State Sen. Jim Rhoades and Rep. Dave Argall. FesslerUSA is continuing to work with these and others, including Federal legislators, Congressman Tim Holden, and Senators Spector and Casey, to secure the additional funding needed to complete the project.

“This project will be just one of the many legacies of Senator Rhoades,” according to Meck. “He and his staff, especially Champ Holman and Nick Troutman, took a personal interest in making the project a reality, guiding us through the intricacies of the PEDA process and supporting our efforts,” she added.

FesslerUSA is a leading producer of exclusively American made quality knitwear and fabrics. Continuously operating for over 108 years, its products are made in Pennsylvania and shipped globally.


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