Representatives from O&H will appear Wednesday before the Mount Pleasant Plan Commission to seek approval for the addition of solar panels on the roof of the new building on Washington Avenue.
The new O&H bakery is cranking out kringle, office personnel have moved over, too, and Peter Olesen said the store is still scheduled to open next month. Until then, last-minute details are being finished, and one of them is adding solar panels to the roof to power up to 40 percent of the building’s annual electricity needs.
Olesen said the panels are just one more component in a plan to make the new facility as energy efficient as possible.
“We’re really working outside the box to be as energy efficient as possible,” he said. “I’m proud of our teams who have proposed such forward-thinking solutions.”
If approved, O&H will place 490 panels on the roof. Each one measures just 6′ 5-5/8 inches wide and only extends a maximum 13-3/8 inches off the roof, making it unlikely they will be visible from the ground.
A grant through an energy renewal program is providing $91,000 of the cost for installation.
Additional efficiency measures include directing the heat from freezer units to water heaters instead of to the roof to vent outside. Olesen said taking this step delivers hotter water faster, saving both time and money in electrical costs.
More, and with few exceptions, O&H is using LED bulbs and fixtures from Cree, which is just down the street in Sturtevant. Hi- and low-bay LEDs help power the production facility, for example, and all exterior fixtures, including the parking lot lights, are also LEDs from Cree.
“Every new fixture, every new bulb is an LED,” Olesen confirmed. “From the offices to the freezers to most fixtures in the store are energy efficient LEDs.”
O&H plans to put around 20 employees to work in the store, a mix of full- and part-time positions. Olesen said applications are being accepted at any of the company’s other stores to fill positions that are shifted to the new location.
The Mount Pleasant Planning Commission meets at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Village Hall, 8811 Campus Drive. Call (262) 664-7800.