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ASICS Unveils Solar Project

SUE WATSON STAFF WRITER

A ribbon-cutting for a rooftop solar array at ASICS recently drew a large turnout from the community.

The ceremony took place on the roof.

“I am delighted by the support we receive from Marshall County,” said Kyle Koestier, director of the distribution center and director of distributions and transportation with ASICS. “It is evident by the number of officials who attended our solar project ribbon-cutting. The Marshall County supervisors and the Mississippi Development Authority continue to be there for us.”

The photovoltaic solar collector system is the largest in the private sector in Mississippi, according to Brian Wehner, vice president of operations and information technology. It is also the first warehouse to add solar panels to its facility in the Chickasaw Trail Indus­trial Park.

The  approximately one acre of solar panels, spread over the front portion of the roof, will produce about 25 percent of the annual energy needs at ASICS, he said.

“This is a result of the brand’s regional strategy to exceed the science-based target of five percent absolute carbon dioxide emissions from direct operations by 2020,” he said. “This installation demonstrates ASICS’ long-term commitment to sustainable business practices, to a healthy environment and to the local community and its employees.”

This addition to the facility on Wingo Road represents a $1 million investment and will generate one megawatt of energy.

“This solar array is designed to generate solar energy for the facility’s operations for the next 25 to 30 years,” Wehner said.

“The renewable energy is reliable, affordable and enhances ASICS’ operations in a sustainable fashion. It also helps ASICS contribute to a clean future by removing nearly 800 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent units (the amount of carbon dioxide that would be generated under conventional energy sources) per year from the atmosphere.

The one-megawatt rooftop solar system consists of roughly 3,000 solar panels capable of generating up to 1,330 megawatt hours of the distribution center’s current annual energy needs. The  number is equivalent to the power consumed by 126 homes a year.

Wehner said the total investment in the logistics hub is $75 million. The company expects a seven-year payout on the solar panel investment.

ASICS manufactures and distributes footwear and other athletic apparel worldwide. The Marshall County facility is the company’s only distribution center in the United States but the company has a third party logistics operations on the West Coast.

ASICS employs 250 people at the facility. It opened in 2011. The property is leased from Lexington Realty Trust.

The total warehouse space is 855,878 square feet. ASICS expanded in 2015, going from 513,000 square feet to 850,878.

The company was founded over 60 years ago by Kinachiro Onitsuka and today is a leading designer and manufacturer of performance athletic footwear, apparel and accessories.

ASICS is a Japanese company headquartered in Kobe, Japan.

To learn more about ASICS America visit WWW.asicsamerica.com.