Contributed Photo: These solar panels are atop the manufacturing plant of USFloors in Dalton, Ga.
* What: USFloors installed a 14,500-square-foot, 144.48 kW solar array on top of one of its manufacturing plants. The array is visible from Interstate 75 in Dalton, Ga.
* Companies: USFloors, manufacturer and distributor of natural flooring products such as cork, bamboo, linoleum, and other natural hardwoods, is led by President and CEO Piet Dossche. This is the company's second array, which will more than quadruple the amount of solar energy the company provides, according to Mr. Dossche. The panels were installed by Alpharetta, Ga.-based United Renewable Energy, which works to install solar panels up and down the East Coast.
* Location: USFloors is is in Dalton, Ga., just over 30 miles south of Chattanooga.
* How's it green? The array produces so much extra pollution-free power that the company receives a credit for their contribution to the electric grid, according to Shana Haygood, a spokesman for United Renewable Energy. The process of selling the power back to TVA is called net metering.
* Plans for expanding in future: USFloors CEO Dossche call himself a believer in solar power, and USFloors specializes in renewable and sustainable products. There are no plans to install additional panels, that could change.
* Is this an esential part of the business focus and why? USFloors specializes in environmentally friendly floor installations, and solar power is an extension of that philosophy, according to USFloors spokesman Gary Keeble.
Ellis Smith joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in January 2010 as a business reporter. His beat includes the flooring industry, Chattem, Unum, Krystal, the automobile market, real estate and technology. Ellis is from Marietta, Ga., and has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication at the University of West Georgia. He previously worked at UTV-13 News, Carrollton, Ga., as a producer; at the The West Georgian, Carrollton, Ga., as editor; and at the Times-Georgian, Carrollton, ...