Going Solar

St. Clair Health Mart Pharmacy soon will be using solar energy to power itself as owner Sue Lindemann, center, opted for the energy alternative. Pictured with her in front of the pharmacy are employees Jayme Janes, left, and Kim Wilken.

St. Clair Health Mart Pharmacy owner Sue Lindemann said she decided to invest in solar electricity and energy-efficient solutions for her business with a goal to achieve financial, environmental and educational benefits both now and in the future.

Missouri Solar Applications guaranteed that Lindemann will see a 10 to 25 percent rate of return on her initial investment. Also, she drastically should reduce the pharmacy’s electric bills by locking in low electric rates for at least 30 years.

“The St. Clair community has supported our family pharmacy for over 42 years, and we plan on being here for many, many more,” Lindemann said. “In order to do that, we needed to look at the big picture — not only for our company, but for future generations to come.”

St. Clair Health Mart opened its doors in 1971. First owned by Jimmy Ward as Ward’s Rexall Drug, the pharmacy was purchased by Bill Juengel and renamed St. Clair Rexall Drug.

Lindemann, Juengel’s youngest daughter and a graduate of the St. Louis College of Pharmacy, purchased the business in 1993 and transitioned Juengel into retirement.

Today, the pharmacy carries a full line of over-the-counter medications and medical equipment as well as snacks, gifts and greeting cards.

Tom Parks, owner of R&R Ace Hardware, located next door to the pharmacy, introduced Lindemann to the solar energy alternative. Parks took the initiative to invest in solar and energy-efficient solutions for his store during the summer.

“We had a great conversation about the benefits and the process it involved,” Lindemann said.

Missouri Solar Applications installed a 25.4-kilowatt solar electric system on the roof at St. Clair Health Mart. It consists of 96 265-watt solar panels, and the company stated the pharmacy will see an estimated annual savings of $5,600.

Missouri Solar Applications also sealed the roof and will be installing energy-efficient light bulbs inside the store in the near future.

“When businesses redirect their investments or equity into solar energy, they are often amazed by the quick payback and the return on that investment,” Missouri Solar Applications CEO Vaughn Prost said. “Your benefits are financial and environmental, simultaneously.

“The financial incentives are better than ever right now for businesses as well as homeowners in Missouri.”

After the system is installed, Missouri Solar Applications hopes to conduct an educational tour inside the pharmacy for  local high school science classes.

“I am hoping the kids could see the solar technology firsthand and understand how it works,” Lindemann said. “Our science department has really bright students who are eager to learn, and I think it would be a great experience for us all.”

The St. Clair R-XIII School District also is considering a switch to solar energy. A decision on that could come this month or in November.

Missouri Solar Apps was one of two companies to pitch their services to the R-XIII board of education in September. The other was Brightenergy.

Missouri Solar Apps

Missouri Solar Applications has installed more than 100 solar systems throughout the state and has worked with business owners and homeowners alike. The company helps customers to understand and achieve the numerous benefits of solar energy and to receive noteworthy cash rebates from utility companies that offer incentives for solar electric systems and energy-efficient lighting.

Additionally, the company helps business owners maximize federal tax credits and accelerated depreciation rates that are available for solar energy systems which drastically reduces system cost and provides a fast return on investment.

In the end, the company stated that solar electric incentives can pay for 60 to 80 percent of solar energy system costs.