Seko's Portland, Ore. Facility Goes Solar

Warehouse and office's 143-panel system to greatly reduce costs and carbon footprint.

Jan 27, 2010, 08:00 ET from SEKO Worldwide

PORTLAND, Ore., Jan. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- SEKO Worldwide ( – a global provider of supply-chain solutions, including comprehensive transportation, logistics and IT offerings – announced that its Portland, Ore. facility recently installed a 31-kilowatt, 143-panel solar voltaic system to supply the vast majority of its electricity needs.

The ultra-efficient, 220-watt polycrystalline solar panel system went live in December 2009. It generates approximately 80 to 90 percent of the electricity needed to power SEKO's 33,000-square-foot Portland warehouse and office. Excess electricity is sold back to Portland General Electric via a net metering system that allows the utility's electricity used by the facility vs. the electricity produced by the solar panels to cancel each other out and produce a net credit or deficit.

The system uses panels manufactured and sold by Grape Solar, (based in Eugene, Ore.) and produces enough power every day to provide the electricity needs for 15 average homes.

"We applaud our Portland office for embracing solar energy to supply virtually all of its electricity needs," said William J. Wascher, president and CEO of SEKO Worldwide. "This installation is cost effective, takes advantage of major incentives, saves energy and provides a competitive edge in SEKO's Northwest market."

SEKO Portland will save approximately $600 on its electric bills each month, eliminating a substantial fixed cost from its budget.

"Federal, state and local financial incentives reduced the total cost of the solar installation by nearly 80 percent," explained Paul Burkhart, owner of SEKO Worldwide in Portland. "All projections indicate we will achieve an ROI in just three years. After that, we will enjoy virtually free electricity," Burkhart added. "The economics of the installation and our desire to reduce our carbon footprint made the decision to go solar very easy."

The following renewable energy incentives helped fund this project:

1) Federal: The Federal Investment Tax Credit, which paid approximately $50,000 in Federal tax credits.

2) State of Oregon: The Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) state alternative energy tax credit paid for 50 percent of a system and the Energy Trust of Oregon provided $54,740 toward payment for the system.

"SEKO Portland capitalized on a great win-win opportunity," stated Ocean Yuan, president of Grape Solar. "We look forward to partnering with additional SEKO facilities and similar, smart organizations on future solar installations."

"Grape Solar's positive-tolerance 220W panels yield 227W on average, not only producing more power, but earning more Oregon incentive dollars," Yuan continued. "Also, our direct-sales business model and lower cost structure create added value for our customers."

About SEKO Worldwide

Founded in 1976, SEKO is a global, third party logistics provider with nearly 50 offices in the United States and more than 50 offices in 40+ countries worldwide. It offers a full range of supply-chain solutions – including transportation services such as domestic and global air and ocean freight forwarding; customs brokerage; ground transportation; trans-border distribution; U.S. home delivery; and DC bypass shipping. SEKO does so 24/7 on an expedited and time-definite basis. International logistics solutions include warehouse management services (WMS), asset management and distribution, contract logistics and reverse logistics services. Its IT solutions offer a broad range of real-time, Web-based shipment management and data exchange tools for a high degree of supply-chain visibility.

About Grape Solar

Headquartered in Eugene, Ore., Grape Solar, Inc. is a leading solar PV module solution provider. It sells high-quality and low-cost solar PV equipment directly to end-users and to residential and commercial solar installers nationwide. Grape Solar's panels are UL and CEC listed under the Grape Solar brand, and range from 175W to 280W.

(NOTE: Photos of SEKO Portland's rooftop with solar panels are available.)

Media Contact: Jason Sherman, 708.445.8598,
SHERMAN communications &