G.F. League Company Creates Solar Farm

Located on Poinsett Highway, the G.F. League Company, also known as League Manufacturing, is a full-service CNC machine shop that started as a lumber company in downtown Greenville in 1917. A great deal of the company’s success over the last century has depended on the League family’s ability to navigate through changing decades and search for innovative strategies to evolve to meet the needs of its customers. The story behind the recent addition of a solar farm on the roof of the company is a fantastic example of how the company leaders work tirelessly to find solutions to challenges and continue to successfully provide excellent customer service to the Upstate.

In 2012, the company moved to the Dan River Plant on Poinsett Highway, which gave League Manufacturing roughly 130,000 square feet of space; however, this new facility also came with some needs that would need to be addressed soon. According to Fraser League, president of the company’s new Quick-Crate North American Division, “The building was constructed in the 1950s, and it had been empty for many years. The roof was basically non-existent.” Roofing the entire structure was going to be quite expensive, so the company opted to only roof half of the building. The other half of the building served as a lumber storage warehouse for the last five years. League explains, “We literally had to cover the materials stored there with tarps. So, we knew it was time to start looking for a solution to complete the building’s roofing.” This was around the same time that Duke Power began to offer incentives to businesses that purchase solar panels, and as League and his team began to explore what these incentives might offer, they found a truly unique solution to completing the roof on their facility.

League says, “For our 100th birthday, we gave ourselves a solar grid, which powers our 130,000 square foot manufacturing plant by harnessing the power of the sun. This purchase supports our corporate mission of environmental stewardship.” In order to prepare for the solar farm, certain roofing materials needed to be used; however, with federal and state rebates for using this type of roofing, they were able to get these materials at no cost. Meanwhile, with the Duke Power incentives, they were able to purchase the panels for the solar farm at half the cost, which will enable the company to break even on expenses related to the solar farm after only four years. The typical time for this to happen for a small business is five to six years.

G.F. League is a model for other small manufacturing companies through the environmental stewardship that is part of the company’s mission. “As our brand expands globally, we hope to make a positive impact on the planet not only through the products we sell but also through the manner in which we conduct business,” says League. In addition to the solar farm, he continues, “the new Quick-Crate division, which was created to reduce the amount of packaging being dumped into landfills, produces reusable shipping crates. Quick-Crate enables our customers to reduce their carbon footprint as well by reusing packaging that was previously discarded.”

To learn more about League Manufacturing, please visit the company website, and find out more about the Quick-Crate North America Division here.

Angela Rogers is a teacher, bibliophile, and freelance writer who is a lifelong resident of the Upstate.