When Apel Steel Corporation in Cullman, Alabama decided to combat the rising cost of energy and power demands of its operations, they contracted Solar FlexRack to help support a system that would allow them to continue operations in a cheaper, more efficient, cleaner way.
There were a number of setbacks that complicated the project, however. The entire system needed to be efficient and self-contained, minimizing the need for maintenance or supervision. It was also intended to be installed on a landscape characterized by uneven, undulating terrain. These characteristics made it difficult to find a capable and affordable supporting system. Solar FlexRack was there to take the job.
In total, Solar FlexRack installed 45 Series G1L ground racking units, supporting a total of 1,088 Suntech solar panels. The Series G1L is designed specifically for ease of installation and tolerance of harsh environmental conditions, so even the landscape at Apel Steel was no problem for installation. The end result was an aesthetically pleasing, relatively self-contained energy collection and distribution system that Apel Steel needed, and delivered in record time.
Today, Apel Steel is enjoying a 340-kW system that produces and offsets 98 percent of their total energy requirements. Translates to real savings, that means Apel Steel will be paying $3 million less on its electric bills over the 30-year expected lifespan of the solar panel system.
The Newest Iteration
Solar FlexRack recently unveiled the Series G3L, the newest and most innovative version of the G1L ground racking units used onsite at Apel Steel. The G3L benefits from an all-steel racking framework that is adjustable enough to accommodate virtually any terrain. Since the Series G3L is specifically designed to ship and install as one, pre-assembled, unfolding piece, the rack can be unloaded and installed in a matter of minutes.