UPPER MARLBORO, MD. — Thos. Somerville Co., a nationally recognized complete full line distributor of plumbing, heating, and air conditioning supplies, has turned to solar power for emission-free, sustainable electricity for its Upper Marlboro, Maryland headquarters and Washington D.C. facility.

Committed to the responsible stewardship of resources and the environment for a sustainable future, Thos. Somerville Co. strives for a green approach to day-to-day operations. The solar projects include two net metered solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays to power each site.

The Upper Marlboro location features 800.0 kW DC and is forecasted to generate 1,008,000 kWh per year, resulting in a reduction of 738 metric tons of CO2 per year, the equivalent greenhouse gas emissions from 1,768,528 miles driven by an average passenger vehicle and 234 tons of waste recycled. The Washington D.C. location features 94.7 kW DC and is expected to generate 119,397 kWh per year, resulting in a reduction of 84.3 metric tons of CO2 per year, the equivalent greenhouse gas emissions from 202,117 miles driven by an average passenger vehicle and 26.8 tons of waste recycled.

“Thos. Somerville Co. is a leader in environmentally-friendly and sustainable practices and the solar project is a huge step forward,” said Scott Reinhart, vice president of finance for Thos. Somerville Co. “Our employees and trading partners are seeking creative ways to improve our impact on the planet and we are proud of the effect that the locally-sourced solar energy will have. Following a competitive evaluation, we selected SolarSense, who has delivered on their promise for safety, performance and value from our projects”.

Alternative Energy Development Group’s solar division, SolarSense, was selected as the projects’ developer, utilizing their vast experience, best in class systems design and tier-1 products to deliver safety, performance and value to Thos. Somerville. The roof-mounted solar systems are generating emissions-free, net-metered solar electricity for the facilities. The products utilized include Canadian Solar and Hyundai Solar PV Modules, SMA string inverters, SolarDock racking, and Locus Monitoring. Installation, electrical, and commissioning services were provided by SolarSense partner firms CMI Solar & Electric and KRN Solar.

The recently completed solar projects are just another integral step forward in Thos. Somerville becoming more environmentally-friendly and sustainable for future generations. In 2008, Thos. Somerville initiated a policy of replacing old style T-12 Fluorescent fixtures, Metal Halide Fixtures and incandescent fixtures with T-8 and T-5 Fluorescent fixtures with occupancy sensors in its warehouses. That policy expanded in 2013 and 2014 to include replacing incandescent and halogen track light fixtures with LED fixtures in its showrooms and replacing the T-8 and T-5 Fluorescent fixtures with LED fixtures with occupancy sensors for general lighting purposes in its warehouses, offices and showrooms. The policy most recently led to the installation of "daylight harvesting" control systems to turn off lights when there was sufficient daylight.

In early 2015, Thos. Somerville implemented an aggressive recycling program that has recycled about 150,000 pounds of waste consisting of cardboard, plastic, paper, E waste, and metal. The company recycled an additional 235,000 pounds of wood pallet waste by repairing, reusing, and donating useable pallets.

“Thos. Somerville is not only financially astute in their decision to implement Solar, but they are committed to sustainability as part of their mission as well,” said Chris Fraga, founder and CEO of SolarSense LLC. “To Thos. Somerville Co. being green is more than just a catchy phrase, it is a way of life for employees, the Board of Directors and Founders, and that makes this project ever the more special. We applaud and congratulate the Thos. Somerville Co. team for their commitment to serving their clients and our planet in a fiscally and socially conscious way.”