Ashley Furniture adds solar energy systems to 10 largest plants
April 24, 2019 | 12:00 pm CDT
ROMEOVILLE, Ill. - Ashley Furniture, number 1 on the FDMC 300, is investing in solar energy installations at ten of its largest U.S. manufacturing facilities. Construction at its Romeoville, Illinois plant began this week.
“We need a lot of energy to manufacture our products and it only makes sense to use renewable sources,” said Ron Wanek, Founder and Chairman, Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc. “This is a long-term investment, not only for Ashley, but for our environment. We are taking proactive steps and hope to see others in our industry join us.”
The initiative is part of a multi-phase effort to reduce the company's footprint. SunPeak, a Wisconsin-based producer of PV solar power, will design and install the systems at the Ashley plants.
Phase one of the project will cost $29 million. The ten Ashley plants, which consume 100 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually, will see a total cost reduction of more than $5 million annually. Electrical needs will be reduced by 35 percent.
“Saving on energy costs will allow us to further invest in our employees and facilities, pass cost savings on to our customers, and give back to the community. These solar panels are just one more example of Ashley’s sustainability in the global marketplace and in our local communities,” said Todd Wanek, President and CEO, of Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc.
The Romeoville location, a 454,525-square-foot retail distribution center, will utilize 2,640 roof-mounted solar panels and 10 inverters for a total system capacity of 726 kWdc. The solar energy produced from this site alone will exceed 856,700 kWh per year, which is equal to the amount of power consumed by 72 average American households.
Other Ashley solar project sites include plants in California, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas and Ashley’s advanced manufacturing headquarters in Arcadia, Wisconsin. All installations should be finished by early 2020.

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Robert Dalheim

Robert Dalheim is an editor at the Woodworking Network. Along with publishing online news articles, he writes feature stories for the FDMC print publication. He can be reached at