The lights are now shining a little more brightly – and efficiently – in the Tinkers Creek Commerce Park, home to a newly-installed solar array project. Hull developed and installed the 93 kW ground-mounted, solar photovoltaic energy facility on the site of its Cleveland-area office, located at 4 Hemisphere Way in Bedford, Ohio.
This development is dually unique in that it is one of the first projects in Ohio to combine new commercial facilities and solar energy on a former brownfields property. It also is one of the largest projects in Ohio that is both constructed and owned by a solar development company at its own facility. Hull's Bedford solar energy facility will supply approximately 100,000 kilowatt hours of energy directly to the building that houses its employees, offsetting about 80 percent of the office's annual electric consumption and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The Hull Bedford solar system is fully operational and began producing power in November 2010. Designed in-house, the system can simultaneously track and provide data on both building energy use and solar production, a distinctive feature in the industry.
Development of the solar project was partially supported by a $266,254 grant from the Ohio Energy Office through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's State Energy Program.
Prior to redevelopment, the 50-acre site was home to the former S.K. Wellman facility, which manufactured friction parts for truck clutches and brakes from 1952 to 1986. The site remained vacant until construction on the new office development started in 2008. Today, the property is home to a 19,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art office development fully leased to Hull and Hemisphere Development LLC. Taylor Chair, Ohio's oldest family-owned manufacturing company, also built and currently operates a 90,000-square-foot headquarters and manufacturing facility at the commerce park.