Toymaker hitches its little red wagon to solar energy


Radio Flyer, the century-old maker of toy wagons for kids, aims to make its operations 100% carbon neutral. In its latest step, the  Chicago-based company hired Wisconsin solar installer Sunvest to build a fully integrated solar array on four of its rooftops.

The combined array is expected to have a 2.4-year payback, and is expected to save the company $50,000 annually in energy costs. The system is designed to produce 737,000 kWh a year using 375W Canadian Solar modules.

The 606 kW system is equipped with four SE 100K and one SE 66.6K three-phase SolarEdge inverters, as well as 808 SolarEdge power optimizers. The optimizers offer module-level monitoring, maximize energy production, and reduce operation and maintenance costs through remote troubleshooting.

The Radio Flyer array spans four rooftops.

Image: SolarEdge

The inverters are equipped with a SafeDC feature that reduces voltage to a safe level when required, protecting installation and maintenance personnel. 

The installation is expected to offset more than half of Radio Flyer headquarters’ electricity usage.

In 2020, Sunvest installed a 2.25 MW solar array at Harley-Davidson’s Pilgrim Road Powertrain Operations facility in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. The solar array is part of We Energies Solar Now program, and at the time was the largest single rooftop solar panel system in Wisconsin.

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