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Local veterinarians recognized for their efforts to produce solar energy

Richard Fulton
Emmitsburg News-Journal

(4/16/2012) Two Emmitsburg area veterinarians have been recognized for their efforts to produce solar energy at their Littlestown animal hospital.

Julie L. Holland and Gary J. Kubala, co-owners of Littlestown Veterinary Hospital, 5010 Baltimore Pike, were recently awarded for a solar energy operation established on their property which provides electricity to the overall power grid in Pennsylvania.

Honoring the clinic for its solar installation, the environmental team of the Gettysburg Adams Chamber of Commerce awarded the animal hospital the 2011 Environmental Stewardship Award in March. The clinic also received a citation from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for its solar energy installation.

At the recommendation of Holland's father, Donald Lindsay, the veterinarians began to explore the possibility of generating solar power at the animal clinic. Holland's father spearheaded the effort, which eventually led to the installation of 105 "Pennsylvania-made" solar panels on the roof of the clinic. The system includes monitoring capabilities that allows the animal hospital staff to track power production and usage associated with the system.

The 23 megawatt-generating system cost around $150,000, the cost of which was partially offset by a USDA rural small business grant, which ultimately contributed $20,000 to the project.

Based on the clinic's own energy savings as a result of their ability to produce electricity for the overall power grid, it is expected the system will pay for itself over a five-year period.

The almost imperceptible layer of solar panels on the roof, which continues to generate electricity even on heavily overcast days, helps to maintain the historic dignity of the more than 100-year-old barn that serves as home to the clinic.

Drs. Holland and Kubala purchased the century-old structure in 2008. Upon acquiring the property, the pair invested an additional $250,000 in building improvements and cutting edge veterinary equipment. In doing so, the two seasoned and well loved vets are able to provide customers state of the art veterinary services while maintaining their reputation for fair and reasonable prices. Needless to say, their clientele base is growing by leaps and bounds.

The reuse of the barn has also been recognized for the effort to maintain its historic essence.

On presenting the Environmental Stewardship Award, the Gettysburg Adams Chamber of Commerce noted, "Overall, the Littlestown Veterinary Hospital is energy conscious and environmentally aware. It resides in an historic building, which in itself, poses a challenge for new technology."