Evergreen Solar Farm and Michael Shore, Chief Executive Officer of FLS Energy
By partnering with FLS Energy to offer a former landfill as a site for FLS Energy’s Evergreen Solar Farm, we are helping to increase North Carolina residents’ access to renewable energy. FLS Energy provides solar power to the public utility. According to FLS CEO Michael Shore—landfill space is an ideal application for solar energy. “From the beginning, folks at Evergreen Packaging have been hospitable, generous, and eager to use their landfill space to generate energy through a solar farm.”
FLS Energy developed one of the first and largest solar farms in the southeast, and Shore is glad that Evergreen Packaging was there from the very beginning. Shore and his FLS team have grown their business from 3 people to 65 full-time employees in two years because renewable energy, as he explains it, just makes sense. “There’s no shortage of sun in the U.S., so solar has a great place in our energy portfolio. We can invest in American-made solar panels and generate energy with no fuel costs, no pollution, no air emissions—none of the typical challenges associated with energy-producing technologies.”
The FLS CEO commends Evergreen Packaging for their contribution to something he recognizes is not necessarily tied to core business. In fact, from planning and construction to implementation, Shore says, “Evergreen Packaging has given us the space to do what we do. They essentially gave us the land.” And the contribution to community service and environmental stewardship continues. FLS conducts monthly tours of the Evergreen Solar Farm to community members, plus high school and college students, and Evergreen representatives often attend.
In the long-term, FLS Energy sees opportunities to expand their current system. “We designed a one megawatt project,” Shore explains, “Enough energy to power about 200 homes.” Although at half that capacity today, with additional funding, the plan’s in place to achieve that goal.
The Evergreen Solar Farm has received a lot of business and media attention all over the country, including queries about how to adapt landfill space for solar farms. “We’re at the tip of the iceberg,” says Shore, “When we built that site, it was one of maybe three solar farms in the southeast. Now there are closer to 15. As we continue to increase our demand for energy, where else is it going to come from?” FLS Energy believes there are tremendous opportunities for job growth and expansion through renewable energy—including biomass, which is a significant source of energy for Evergreen Packaging.