Bob Tucker founded Shoe Show Inc. in Kannapolis in 1960 and has grown the company into the nation's largest independent shoe retailer.
It operates 1,123 stores in 37 states and distributes 52 million pairs of shoes per year.
Investing in solar took away from his
core businesses of selling shoes, but the benefits outweighed any negative, said Tucker
"I saw a couple of people who were (investing in solar)," he
"I knew them and their reputation, and thought if they were doing it, I need to look into it."
considered renting out the roof to a solar company, then decided against building something to power his
wanted to build a large-scale system that generates power to sell.
Federal and state tax credits available for solar projects pushed Tucker
to move forward.
The federal government allows a project owner to take 30 percent of the project cost as a federal tax credit.
N.C. law allows the owner to take 35 percent of costs as a state tax credit.
said the amount of power the array generates impresses him most.
"It's part of a business, and if it works, it works," said Tucker
"And right now, it's working.
What I keep asking is 'How much energy is it producing?' and 'Can you figure out what the real return is going to be?' And we can't really tell until we get three or four months into it.
said installing the solar array was ultimately a business move, but he's
glad it will help the environment.