When Radio Flyer and SunVest first started working together on a rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) system at the company’s Chicago headquarters, multiple priorities were at play. The iconic manufacturer of wagons, electric bikes, scooters, and more is a family-owned toy company well on its way to achieving a goal of 100% carbon-free manufacturing and materials.
The company is also working toward a goal of 100% renewable electricity across global operations as part of its involvement with RE100, a global campaign by corporate leaders to achieve 100% renewable energy. A rooftop solar array would make great strides in both arenas.
Passenger vehicles driven for one year
Homes electricity use for one year
Number of smartphones charged
Tree seedlings grown for 10 years
SunVest designed, installed, and helps maintain a 606-kilowatt system comprised of 1,616 Canadian Solar modules spread across four different roofs at the Radio Flyer headquarters. There were several challenges for this project, which were all addressed through SunVest’s extensive experience in solar design and installation as well as SunVest’s breadth of knowledge of the various industry technology platforms.
SunVest’s Asset Management Team provided Radio Flyer with an Operations & Maintenance (O&M) agreement, ensuring the arrays would perform at peak operating conditions through SunVest’s 24/7 remote monitoring capabilities, system health checks, and troubleshooting aptitude.
Radio Flyer’s PV system went live in May 2020. It has achieved 99% of its performance goal in PV Watts, despite a 60-year low of solar irradiance for January and February 2021.
The system not only has the potential to produce 737,000 kWh of renewable electricity every year – offsetting more than half of the Chicago headquarters’ electricity usage – but it will save Radio Flyer $50,000 in utility bills annually and pay for itself within 2.4 years. Radio Flyer will reinvest the funds into sustainability initiatives to further improve operations, employee programs, and manufacturing lines.
Good for the environment. Good for Radio Flyer’s people. And good for business.