Viking Masek, a packaging equipment supplier serving the cannabis industry, has installed a rooftop solar array at its headquarters in Oostburg, Wisconsin.

After being approached by solar energy company Arch Electric in early 2018, Viking Masek leadership began conducting feasibility studies. In August 2019, contracts were finalized and installation of the rooftop array began. It became operational in December 2019.

Featuring 648 solar panels, the array generates 239.76 kW, saving enough electricity each year to power 28 homes.

“The electricity generated from the array will reduce our monthly energy bills by thousands of dollars, and on days when we generate more power than we use, the surplus will be sold back to the energy utility provider,” said Viking Masek’ COO Ty Weinhold. He expects the solar array will pay for itself in two to three years.

And thanks to a Focus on Energy RECIP grant, funding through the USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and tax incentives, Viking's out-of-pocket costs were substantially reduced, shortening the return on investment period.

“An investment in modern solar power was a decision we collaboratively chose to pursue to fulfill our energy needs here at Viking,” said Robb Leonhard, Viking Masek executive vice president. “And not only is it a forward-thinking decision for the business, but solar helps the community at large. There will be many days when Viking will produce more energy than we utilize and this energy goes to the grid. This is a win-win for everyone.”

With Sheboygan County being a top destination for young professionals, local employers are focusing more on offering unique benefits that attract emerging generations. The Millennial and Gen Z workforce value sustainability and renewable energy, often looking for a values match between themselves and potential employers. 

"We're currently ramping up our recruitment efforts in a very competitive landscape, and the solar array differentiates us as an innovative employer in the eyes of potential hires," Weinhold said.

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