There’s only one place in Alabama where you can grab a cup of coffee knowing the beans were roasted using renewable solar energy.
Birmingham-based OHenry’s Coffees, an Alabama Retail Association member since 1999, has become the first coffee company in the state to use solar energy in its roasting process.
“I decided to install a solar energy system to make use of available technology to help run OHenry’s more effectively,” said OHenry’s owner Randy Adamy.
Adamy hired fellow Birmingham company Vulcan Solar Power for the job. The company installed a 15 kilowatt solar energy system at OHenry’s roasting facility in West Homewood last year, completing the process by December 2016.
“It was surprising to us that our roof just happened to be facing in the perfect direction and at the right angle for solar panels,” Adamy said. “We are excited to be able to be more eco‐friendly to the Birmingham community.”
The solar energy system not only makes OHenry’s more environmentally friendly, it will also save the company about $2,000 in the first year alone. In addition, the system is projected to pay for itself in less than five years.
Rob Ozols, CEO of Vulcan Solar, said, “There is tremendous opportunity for Alabama businesses to use solar energy to reduce operating cost, achieve significant returns on investment and meet corporate renewable energy objectives.”
Vulcan Solar Power provides turnkey solar energy systems for homeowners, businesses and nonprofits.
The solar energy system is just another step OHenry’s has taken towards sustainability and responsible corporate citizenship. The company also offers fair trade, organic and shade grown coffee. It was the first coffee roasting company to purchase entire crops of coffee from small farmers in Colombia, according to company literature.
A Birmingham institution for more than 23 years, OHenry’s Coffees has locations in downtown Homewood, Brookwood, Highlands Park and downtown Tuscaloosa, in addition to the West Homewood coffee roasting facility. Adamy and his wife, Mary, earned Gold Alabama Retailer of the Year status for OHenry’s Coffees in 2004.