Photo courtesy of Global Links.

To celebrate its 30th revolution around the sun, Global Links will power its 58,000-square-foot headquarters in Green Tree with solar energy.

The nonprofit medical relief and development agency had a 63.2-kilowatt, 10,000-square-foot solar array installed on the top of its warehouse. The old roof was replaced with a white one that reflects sunlight, which is then absorbed by 162 bifacial panels.

Installed by Scalo Solar Solutions, the array is expected to generate 82 percent of energy currently used by Global Links; that’s enough to power 6.4 homes per year for a quarter-century and is the carbon equivalent of saving 6,000 gallons of gasoline per year for 25 years.

The solar roof installation is the first cohort project of the Pennsylvania Solar Center, a new statewide solar energy resource hub established by New Sun Rising to guide nonprofits and small businesses. It was funded, in part, through a $150,000 grant provided by the Green Mountain Energy Sun Club, which invests in nonprofits and focuses on projects related to renewable energy, energy efficiency, resource conservation and environmental stewardship.

Since the program’s founding in 2002, the Sun Club has donated $10 million to more than 122 projects across Texas and the Northeast.

In 2012, Global Links purchased the Trumbull Drive building. Warehouse skylights allow the organization to limit energy use in the largest part of its workspace. It also upgraded the property’s HVAC system to an energy-efficient model in 2013, and replaced old, inefficient rooftop heaters with more radiant heating. All windows were replaced to optimize insulation.

Being environmentally friendly is part of Global Links’ mission.

The organization rescues surplus medical supplies and home health equipment from hospitals, nursing homes and the community, and redistributes those materials to public health facilities in vulnerable communities around the world. In 2019 alone, Global Links recovered 260 tons of medical materials that would have been discarded, provided more than $3.5 million worth of international medical aid to 66 healthcare facilities in four countries and supported more than 30 local organizations.

“We seek every opportunity to minimize the environmental impact of our own operations, and our conversion to solar not only serves our energy needs but will serve as a model for inspiring further green energy development in our region,” says Angela Garcia, executive director of Global Links.

Kristy Locklin is a North Hills-based writer. When she's not busy reporting, she enjoys watching horror movies and exploring Pittsburgh's craft beer scene.