Acme-McCrary Corp., Asheboro, N.C., has installed a solar thermal energy system at its Pritchard
St. hosiery plant in Asheboro to heat water for its hosiery and seamless apparel dyeing operation.
According to the company, the system — which comprises 200 solar panels manufactured by
Jacksonville, Fla.-based Alternate Energy Technologies (AET) and installed by FLS Energy,
Asheville, N.C. — will generate 10,000 gallons of hot water a day at temperatures up to 180°F, and
will reduce Acme-McCrary’s carbon emissions by 249,000 pounds annually. The system also includes
two 10,000-gallon tanks to store hot water for use when the sun is not shining. The company reports
the system is believed to be the largest such installation in the United States for industrial and
FLS Energy designed and installed the system at no cost to Acme-McCrary and is selling the
energy generated to the company at a price lower than the cost of fossil fuel, reducing
Acme-McCrary’s energy costs by more than $20,000 per year.
The North Carolina State Energy Office’s ARRA Renewable Energy Grant program provided partial
funding for the project.
Acme-McCrary, a supplier of product to Walmart and a member of Walmart’s Sustainability
Council, initiated the project in response to sustainability requirements that Walmart has
instituted for its vendors.