Pittsburgh-based medical relief and international development nonprofit Global Links and Green Mountain Energy Sun Club will bring online a 63.2-kW solar array this week to celebrate Global Links’ 30th anniversary.
Installed by Scalo Solar Solutions, the project involved removing the facility’s old roof and replacing it with a reflective white roof to allow for additional energy generation. A total of 162 bifacial solar panels were installed to allow for optimal energy absorption, with the full array expected to generate 82% of energy currently being used by Global Links. Scalo also completed work on the 2-MW solar install at Mill 19.
The solar roof installation at Global Links is the first cohort project of the Pennsylvania Solar Center and was made possible through an innovative financing tool offered by Scalo Solar Solutions and through a $150,000 grant by the Green Mountain Energy Sun Club.
“For 30 years, Global Links has helped healthcare institutions, businesses and the community reduce their environmental impact through the donation of surplus and no longer needed medical supplies, home healthcare supplies, and office equipment. We seek every opportunity to minimize the environmental impact of our own operations, and our conversion to solar not only serves our energy needs, but will serve as a model for inspiring further green energy development in our region,” said Angela Garcia, executive director of Global Links.
Global Links is one of more than 120 projects to receive a sustainability grant from Sun Club, a nonprofit organization founded in 2002 by Green Mountain Energy, the nation’s longest-serving renewable energy retailer. Thanks to donations from customers, employees and Green Mountain Energy, Sun Club provides grants to nonprofit organizations that want to implement sustainability projects promoting renewable energy, energy efficiency, resource conservation and environmental stewardship. Since its inception, Sun Club has awarded $10 million in grants for like-minded nonprofits that want to change the effect people have on the planet.
“Sun Club understands how instrumental nonprofit organizations are to the well-being of communities, and thanks to the support of Green Mountain customers we are able to help them operate more sustainably without using resources that otherwise would have gone to the community,” said Mark Parsons, vice president and general manager for Green Mountain Energy. “We commend Global Links for their model of medical surplus recovery and donation to underserved communities, as it places equal emphasis on supporting health improvement initiatives while promoting environmentally sustainable practices in healthcare and beyond.”
Global Links collaborates with U.S. healthcare institutions and the community to rescue hundreds of tons of high-quality surplus medical materials every year that would otherwise be sent to landfills. These materials are shared with public health facilities around the world and with nonprofit organizations in Western Pennsylvania that are providing care for their community’s most vulnerable people. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Global Links pivoted its model in 2020 to focus on securing and bulk purchasing personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks and face shields, as well as other supplies, and distributing them to community nonprofits, senior care facilities, child care facilities and organizations that serve the elderly, low-income, homeless and immigrant communities in the Pittsburgh region.