Solar Power World’s 2021 Greenest Contractor invests in greening employee lifestyles
The Greenest Contractor award recognizes the greenest contractors who make their businesses and communities as environmentally friendly as possible.
An individual’s efforts are valuable, but this year’s Greenest Contractors understand that the threat of climate change must be addressed at an institutional level. Cincinnati, Ohio-based solar EPC Melink Solar has taken its position in the renewable energy market seriously and has implemented a company-wide policy to make facilities and employees as green as possible.
-Steve Melink, Founder and CEO, Melink Solar
At the workforce level, the company pledged that by 2025, every Melink employee would choose their utility’s clean energy option and run an electric vehicle powered by clean energy. As of 2019, 57% of Melink employees drove electric vehicles, and many of them also serve on boards or are members of local organizations promoting renewable energy, green living and the common good, including the Greater Cincinnati Green Building Council, Green Energy Ohio, Sonlight Power and EV Cincy. The rest of the company has four years to fulfill the Melink 2025 Pledge, and Melink will support employees in this process if they encounter financial barriers by offering benefits, lease programs and lower market prices for EVs.
Melink also ensures that its facilities produce little to no carbon. Both company headquarters are classified as zero-energy buildings. The first was retrofitted with geothermal heating, LED lighting and other clean technologies to achieve that status, and the second was built with zero consumption in mind. The second headquarters uses a patent-pending “Super Hybrid Geothermal” HVAC system and 85 kW of large-scale solar carports with bifacial modules. The carports power the entire building and 39 additional EV charging stations. In addition, Melink has wind turbines on the site. From 2018 to 2019, renewable energy sources produced 94,236 kWh of solar energy and 1,379 kWh of wind energy on site.
Despite being in a state with regions committed to fossil fuel extraction and policies that are unfriendly toward renewables, Melink is making southern Ohio and the entire country greener.