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David Perry

Boyd set to become energy independent

Boyd Specialty Sleep’s FontanaBoyd Specialty Sleep’s Fontana, Calif., factory will soon get solar panels to power its plant and provide electrical power for other companies.
ST. LOUIS - Boyd Specialty Sleep is specializing in something new: Energy autonomy.
     The specialty sleep producer, based here, said that it will reach complete energy autonomy this summer with solar panel systems on its 70,000- square-foot facility in St. Louis and its 320,000-square-foot factory in Fontana, Calif.
     Boyd's $2.75 million investment in solar paneled roof systems for those facilities will save the company more than $100,000 in its own power usage in the first year and will enable Boyd to sell back excess electrical power to major energy providers. The savings to Boyd are expected to increase annually as energy costs increase.
     Denny Boyd, president of Boyd Specialty Sleep, said the move to energy autonomy has been two years in planning and is part of the company's strategic environmental emphasis.
     "For years our mission as a business has been to focus on the health and safety of consumers and on the environmental impact of our products and processes," he said. "We see ourselves as an integral part of the communities in which we operate. As such, it's our responsibility to be energy-conscious and to give back to those communities, while at the same time doing what makes sense for our business."
     Boyd, who noted that federal energy credits also played a role in his decision to become energy independent, contracted with SunEdison, the nation's largest solar services provider, to build, operate and maintain the systems on the Fontana facility's roof.
     Under that contract, 35% of the roof will host Boyd's solar panels while the balance of the roof space will be leased to SunEdison, which will install its own panels. Once the system is activated, SunEdison will make "operating rent payments" to Boyd for hosting the solar panels as part of a Southern California Edison program that enables businesses to become electrical power suppliers.
     For its St. Louis facility, Boyd has purchased the entire solar panel system, which will be installed by this June.
     "These moves reflect my philosophy that in every industry, companies need to find ways to maximize efficiency by doing more with less," Boyd said. "I believe we're doing the right thing at each of our locations."
     Boyd was a driving force in the development of the Specialty Sleep Assn.'s Environmental and Safety Program, and was the first U.S. bedding producer in 2010 to earn Level 1 product compliance in that program.
     Boyd uses only foams manufactured in pressurized chambers to eliminate the release of volatile organic compounds into the atmosphere. It also utilizes many rayon fabrics made from sustainable bamboo fibers.

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