Pennsylvania Manufacturer on Track to Achieve Net Zero with Rooftop Solar

Clean Energy | Petra Mitchell| January 19, 2024



NEW CASTLE, Pa _ Berner International, also known as Berner Air Curtains, and the PA Solar Center will formally kick off Berner’s solar array at a special “Solar Switch On” event 11 AM Jan. 18th at their location at 111 Progress Ave. New Castle. The New Castle manufacturer is the first of its kind to integrate solar initiatives in Lawrence County, and one of the first between Pittsburgh and Erie in Western PA. The organization will also be recognized by the PA Solar Center with the Lodestar Award, which recognizes leaders in the solar energy field in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

“As our company continues its net zero trajectory, this project is a major step in our efforts toward sustainability through reducing our carbon footprint,” said President/CEO David Rimbey. “We greatly appreciate the guidance of PA Solar Center for enabling our company to approach a net zero energy status more quickly.”                                                    

The solar panel installation has the capacity to produce almost one gigawatt of power annually. Installation began in June 2023, with the array becoming fully operational in January. The system is designed to cover future expansion needs. Excess energy is initially being sent back to First Energy but will eventually be integral to a planned Berner facility expansion.

The journey to net zero began approximately five years ago with a conversation at a clean energy forum between Berner CFO Denise Grady and Sharon Pillar, Executive Director of the PA Solar Center. “Through their organization, we were able to get information on the current state of solar technology and funding options available,” said Grady. “We did the evaluation. It made financial sense, but more importantly it was an outward sign of our mission of sustainability.”

The rooftop solar array installation was facilitated by the PA Solar Center, a nonprofit seeking to expand the benefits of solar to all Pennsylvanians, with installation provided by EIS Solar in Carnegie, PA. “Berner International’s investment in solar energy demonstrates that you can take actions that are good for the environment and for a company’s bottom line,” said Leo Kowalski, Program Director for the Pennsylvania Solar Center. “We hope that this example will spur other businesses to follow their lead.”

“By investing in the largest commercial solar installation in the area we hope to inspire others to follow,” said Mikael Berner, Chairman of the Board. “This substantial solar investment helps us deliver on Berner’s mission to save energy and create healthy, comfortable environments; for our customers, employees and the planet.”

This past summer, Berner Air Curtains received a $537,000 Rural American Energy Program (REAP) grant through the USDA toward the cost of installation. “Going solar can help organizations avoid the huge spikes in electricity bills that consumers are currently seeing across the state and save thousands of dollars in energy costs,” explained Kowalski, who added that the Pennsylvania Solar Center assisted with the grant application. “In addition, solar savings translates into hiring more workers, or investing in more infrastructure to increase production that has ripple effects into the local economy.”

Berner is also a participant of the Green Building Alliance of Pittsburgh’s Pittsburgh and Erie 2030 Districts, an internationally recognized initiative to drastically reduce carbon emissions by the built environment by 2030.

The “Solar Switch On” Event, which kicks off at 11 AM, will also include a brief tour of the site afterwards. The event is open to the media and elected officials representing Lawrence County and the Western PA region.

For additional information, please contact Miranda Berner, Marketing VP at 724.622.4586 or


Headquartered in New Castle, Pennsylvania, Berner International combines engineering expertise, state-of-the-art equipment, and highly skilled workers to design and produce the most efficient, best looking, reliable air curtains on the market. Their strong commitment to listening to their customers and solving their problems has established Berner International as the leader in the air curtain market. In business for over 65 years, Berner has a reputation for customer service, innovation, quality and performance, and is proud to be a leader in systems that save energy and create healthy, comfortable environments. The company employs 135 people in both New Castle, PA., and Montreal, Canada. Learn more at


Energy Independent Solutions is trusted by hundreds of residences, businesses, farms and municipal buildings throughout Pittsburgh, Western Pennsylvania and beyond for Solar Power. We are a local Pittsburgh company with a track record of high-quality solar installations, solar service and the best solar field performance rating in the industry. With EIS, you will receive an in-depth solar energy education, assessment, and recommendation for a great return on your investment. We make it easy to go solar. Learn more at


The PA Solar Center is a 501c3 nonprofit organization with the mission to expand the benefits of solar to all Pennsylvanians. The Center offers technical assistance to non-profit organizations, businesses, and communities to help them go solar, savvy media communications and online resources for all solar stakeholders, and education for decision-makers and advocates about the benefits of robust solar policy. The PA Solar Center provides an online directory of qualified solar developers, a map of notable solar installations, a monthly solar webinar series, and a listing of solar events happening across the state. Learn more at  

Media Contact: Miranda Berner