Illinois Government News Network- April 19, 2006
Quinn Celebrates Earth Week With Largest Solar Installation in Illinois
"The World's Largest Laundromat in Berwyn, a magnet for sightseers? ... Brandon Leavitt tells Eco-tourists about his company's solar water-heating system..."
TreeHugger - April 6, 2006
World's Largest Laundromat Uses Solar Hot Water
"But the aspect that gets our attention is that the panels, installed by Solar Service, save the laundry, in Berwyn, Chicago “about $2,000 a month." They do this by displacing around 2 million Btu (British Thermal Units, if you must know) of natural gas per day for washing clothes...."
Wired- May, 2005
The New Power Generation - Daniel Pink
"Soccer moms, taco shops, even real estate developers - mainstream America is starting to pull the plug and rely on homegrown solar energy. Call it the dawn of the hygrid age..."
Dexigner - June 16, 2004
Solar Heated Salsa at Taco King Restaurant
"Salvador Lamas isn't kidding when he brags about his restaurant chain's hot-as-the-sun salsa, thanks to the new solar energy system that provides hot water for his new state-of-the-art main kitchen..."
New Restaurant in Chicago Harvests the Sun
"Taco Burrito King's newest restaurant is under construction in Chicago and will utilize a 500-gallon per day Solar Hot Water System designed and installed by Solar Service.
Owner Salvador Lamas was impressed with the simplicity and efficiency of using solar energy to heat the water for his restaurant. The economic return is also impressive. The system qualifies for a 10% Federal Tax Credit, Accelerated Depreciation Benefits and a $5,000 State of Illinois Rebate. These substantial benefits coupled with outstanding energy cost reductions is expected to payback the initial investment in less than five years. That is equal to an annual (tax free) 20% return on investment.
Taco Burrito King's new restaurant is located at 5413 W. Belmont in Chicago"
Newly Built Women's Shelter in Chicago Installs the Largest Residential Solar Thermal System in the City
Sanctuary Place is a 70-unit studio and family residential complex that is dedicated to homeless women with special needs, including HIV/AIDS, chemical dependency, and/or mental illness.
Sanctuary Place uses electricity for its heating and back-up hot water systems. Using solar to reduce electrical expenditures will save thousands of dollars a year and give more funds to provide support services for the residents and to keep rents low.
The solar hot-water system has 20 solar panels (a total of 800 square feet of collectors) that will produce over 1,000 gallons of hot water a day and save 247 KW of electricity each day. The system improves environmental quality in Illinois and decreases pollution.
Interfaith Housing Development Corporation contracted Solar Service to engineer and install the solar hot water system. The project was funded with support from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation and the City of Chicago.
Clean Energy Grants Awarded to Solar Service Clients to Install Solar Thermal Systems in 2004
The Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation (ICECF) awarded Kreider Services Inc., of Dixon, IL, $48,000. This grant will help them achieve their goal of installing solar thermal systems on ten residential group homes and a large day center. Kreider Services is a not-for-profit organization that provides group housing and employment opportunities for people with developmental disabilities.
The ICECF also awarded the Betty Shabbaz International Charter School, in Chicago, $12,250. The Betty Shabbaz school was founded over five years ago by a group of citizens who shared a commitment to education. This grant will provide partial funding to install a solar system that will heat the water for the cafeteria and also deliver independent solar heat through a hallway fan convector heating unit. The school intends to integrate renewable energy issues into the curriculum. Solar Service was proudly involved in the grant writing process for both projects.
The ICECF invests in clean energy development and works with communities and citizens to improve environmental quality in Illinois. The Foundation supports programs and projects that will improve energy efficiency, develop renewable energy resources and preserve and enhance natural areas and wildlife habitats throughout the state. The ICECF provides funding to charitable (federally recognized 501c3) organizations, educational institutions and state and local government agencies serving Illinois residents.
Sun-Times - April 24, 2003
Berwyn Laundry puts New Spin on Solar Power
"Whether the World's Largest Laundromat and Cleaners in Berwyn lives up to its name is open to question. But it does have the most powerful solar thermal energy system in Illinois, state officials said at outdoor dedication ceremonies on a radiantly sunny Wednesday..."
On April 23, 2003 Illinois Lt. Governor Pat Quinn praised Solar Service’s founder and owner, Brandon Leavitt
saying that when it comes to solar, he is “the North Star that guides us.” Brandon is a founder of the Illinois Solar Energy Industries Association and of the Illinois Solar Contractors Association. He is a member of Midwest Global Warming Leadership Council. A renowned advocate for solar energy, he has spoken at numerous schools and community groups. Before setting up his own company, he studied with Buckminster Fuller in 1975 and 1976, and with Dr. Erich Farber, the University of Florida solar pioneer.