Owensboro-area Business Leader Invests in Solar
Interview with Malcolm Bryant, President of the Malcolm Bryant Corporation by Lauren McGrath, Sierra Club organizer - Sierra Club is a KySEA member.
The Malcolm Bryant Corporation (TMBC), a thriving real estate development and property management company, is about to take a new angle on innovation.
Based in Owensboro, KY, the Malcolm Bryant Corp has prided itself with an exceptional customer-focused, entrepreneurial vision that has led to its continued successes including – conducting business in more then fifteen different communities and owning more than one thousand current, and past, property occupants. The company, among other things, specializes in office design, technology, industrial location and hospitality service. They’re even fully staffed up with everything their clients might need - a full time construction and remodeling crews, free in-house design experts, full time mechanical and repair personnel as well as office staff.
And now they’re about to add a new twist to their image – solar panels on their headquarters building in downtown Owensboro.
The install, slated for later this month, will also be the first commercial install of photovoltaic (PV) or “solar” panels in Owensboro, KY. Following is a brief interview with TMBC’s President, Malcolm Bryant.
Q: What first interested you, or your company, in solar energy?
A: Our company is focused on learning. We are constantly trying to expose our customers to the latest ways to improve their business and make their guests interested and comfortable in their space. Solar energy is certainly interesting. From the youngest to the oldest all of us are interested in the future. Solar energy offers us a view to the future of our planet and how we take care of ourselves at home and work. We love the creativity it brings to our properties. And we can’t ignore that all traditional energy sources are increasing in costs.
Q: Solar has a pretty hefty upfront cost, what factors helped weigh this initial investment out for you?
A: The building that we are installing solar panels has an interesting past, being Owensboro High School in the early 20’s. We have been trying creative additions to it for many years. We painted a tromp’ loi mural on the facade 15 years ago and KET did a documentary on it, so it has an interesting history. We added a cloth awning 25 years ago and we constantly replace it due to the ultraviolet rays. That’s expensive. It is now interesting that the sun’s rays should now help the building. And as we mentioned all energy costs are increasing, so it is a good test model for us in seeing if it can help more of our properties as well.
But, most importantly we want to show our customers our interest in helping their business. If this can bring the right curiosity to the property they occupy, it brings good intentions to their business and being green and occupying sustainable buildings, should be good business
Q: What do you think needs to happen to see these newer clean energy industries thrive in Kentucky?
A: The State and Federal and Local governments need to partner with entrepreneurs such as ourselves that want to make a difference. In the broad picture, I believe our leaders need to make a generation changing statement about energy, much the same way we said when we would put a man on the moon. Simply educating ourselves on the installation and interface with the grid is important on the local front.
Q: What do you hope to gain from this experience? What opportunities exist?
A: Primarily we hope to create curiosity in the community and introduce our properties consistently as cutting edge places to do business. We have many visitors to our community form other cities and I believe it is a good signal to them that our community is exploring worldly ideas. We want to start the discussions of “what if…”
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
A: We are pursuing our new convention hotel under design, being LEED certified, the first LEED project in the region. It may have alternative energy opportunities, also. We certainly will be the pioneer in this region and that’s a good initiative for us and our customers.
To learn more about solar energy and state energy policies that can support its growth, contact KySEA.