The Bob Barker Company leads the way for detention supplies. But now, it’s among the leaders of the future as well.
The company unveiled its solar panel farm last Thursday during a ribbon cutting ceremony at the distribution center on Purfoy Road. The nearly 2,000 panels are expected to produce about 700,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually, helping to cut the company’s electric bill by more than half.
An added bonus, the excess power will be sold back to Duke Energy.
The solar panel farm, which started up in December, is one of the 10 largest in the state.
In its 27th year in Fuquay-Varina, the Bob Barker Company hopes to give back. This project is a way to benefit not only the company but also future generations.
“We are cognizant of our place in this community,” Bob Barker said.
Bob’s daughter, Nancy Barker Johns, said she remembered the first time she discovered solar panels. At age 13, she went to the Epcot Center at Walt Disney World in Florida and saw Spaceship Earth, the giant golf ball lookalike that is covered in large solar panels.
Decades later, the vice president of Social Responsibility for the company is proud to introduce the solar panels here at home.
“God had a hand in this long before it was even conceived,” Johns said.
The innovation of the Bob Barker Company is setting the standard for others in the community.
“Innovation is about creating the future,” Fuquay-Varina Mayor John Byrne said.
He said the Town of Fuquay-Varina has looked to start a solar panel project of its own.
PowerWorks Electric Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Al Fiore said project took 90 days from start to finish. But it was really the driving force of the Green Team that made the solar panel project possible.
“It was (the Green Team’s) vision for the Bob Barker Company,” he said.
Green Team member for the Bob Barker Company, Jim Storey, said this isn’t the only initiative the company has taken to lessen its carbon footprint. The company also has a plastic recycling program.
“We’re always working toward new initiatives throughout the year,” he said.
Still, Bob said the company’s biggest asset is its employees.
“My name may be on the building, but it’s not all about me,” he said. “It’s about the Bob Barker Company and the employees.”
And the employees are promoting the solar project. That’s something Bob finds to be very gratifying. He spent his life building the company and it’s nice to see his children and employees moving forward.
“They just pick up the ball and run with it,” he said.
Contact Kelly Griffith at email@example.com or 919-552-5675.