Atlantic Electric Supply Corp., a Washington, D.C.-based electrical distributor, installed a 7.4 kW grid-tied PV system on the roof of its warehouse in an effort to promote green technology. The ballasted/semi-attached system consists of 39 BP 190W PV modules. Electrical contracting and consulting services for the job were provided by Don Bonnet, president of Ridgeway & Ernest Electric, Silver Spring, Md.

The installation makes 84-year-old Atlantic Electric Supply the first electrical distributor in the area to have a portion of its electricity provided by solar, the company says. The system will save an estimated $1,800 per year in electricity costs and will earn the company approximately nine Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) per year while reducing CO2 emissions by an estimated 14,000 lbs annually.

Atlantic will use its PV system as a hands-on educational aid for electrical contractors and others wishing to develop skills in the solar electric field. Atlantic has been working closely with the Independent Electrical Contractors - Chesapeake Chapter in the development of PV training courses aimed at electricians interested in broadening their skills to include solar installations. Derek Coen, a partner in Atlantic Electric Supply, is a NABCEP-certified PV Installer and serves as the Renewable Energy Committee Chair for IEC Chesapeake. He conducts regular solar training and develops outreach programs promoting the use of solar electric and energy-efficient products.