House of Raeford Farms, Rose Hill, N.C., recently installed a solar thermal hot water system to help reduce energy costs and increase sustainability efforts. The project is in partnership with Asheville, N.C.-based, FLS Energy.

“Solar energy is something that we had considered, but the economics were tough to justify. The opportunity FLS Energy brought to us, however, made it easy. We can now purchase domestically produced energy, reduce our costs and benefit the environment at the same time,” said Robert C. Johnson, House of Raeford CEO.

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The solar hot water system, built behind the hatchery, has 208 panels, and is designed to reduce costs for heating water by upwards of 40% and provide hot water 24 hours a day. House of Raeford will provide the land and purchase all of the system’s output, and FLS Energy will supply the solar energy generation technology, expertise and resources and construct, own and operate the system. The solar system will offset almost 40,000 gallons of propane annually, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by more than 290,000 pounds per year.