Fokker cuts ribbon on solar upgrades

Published 9:00 am Saturday, June 29, 2024

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On Thursday afternoon, Fokker Services Group on Aerotron Parkway in LaGrange held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the inauguration of their solar-powered plant.

The aircraft repair facility in LaGrange announced in April plans to upgrade the facility to run on rooftop solar panels.

Fokker partnered with Principal Construction and Turner Services for the project which will not only power its operations efficiently but also help contribute to a cleaner environment.

Menzo Van Der Beek, CEO of Fokker Services Group, said during COVID, Fokker had to endeavor into new ideas to remain sustainable and recover from the downturn.

He said they realized if they want to take care of their employees, they also need to take care of bigger responsibilities related to the environment and the social responsibility they have with the company.

“I think everybody is very much aware that unintentionally [companies] sometimes harm the environment. But hopefully, with the small that we have, we can make a major step forward to contribute to a safer and cleaner environment and also take that responsibility within your community,” Van Der Beek said.

The sustainable upgrades include nearly 2300 solar panels across the roof of the facility and the carports. The panels generate about 1 million watts of energy.

“That’s a lot of energy. That’s enough to power our complete plant for the year. It also provides a surplus that will go back to LaGrange utilities and can be used by other companies, so we’re very proud of that,” said Craig Winter, Managing Director of Fokker Services in LaGrange.

“It gives us a sense of pride here in LaGrange for you all to be here,” LaGrange Mayor Jim Arrington said. “We want to thank you for all the efforts that you all put into our community and the partnerships that you’ve built within the community.”