Vickery Wholesale Greenhouse ( began in 1926 as Vickery Florist in Vickery, Texas, the area surrounding the intersection of Greenville and Park Lane in Dallas. The business grew, and in the 1940’s, the retail florist moved to it’s current location on East Grand Avenue. In 1952, they shifted their focus to the wholesale trade and established Vickery Wholesale Greenhouse, creating a plant mecca for interiorscapers, florists, malls and hotels that was never available before.

In 1978, Pat Berry joined Vickery after responding to an ad in the paper. He bought out the business in 1987, and since then has improved on a long-time tradition. Every day, trucks from California, Florida and other points around the country deliver the largest variety of ultra-fresh, high-quality plants to Vickery’s state-of-the-art greenhouse, still housed on East Grand.

The business expanded beyond the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and surrounding areas to Austin, where they continue to provide high quality plants for commercial services. Owner Pat Berry had been interested in solar power since the 1970’s, but never saw it as providing a return on his investment due to the high costs at the time. But it wasn’t until NATiVE approached him last year did Pat realize just how economically viable solar had become.

NATiVE had recognized the significance of his greenhouse location and was able to find the various incentives that the business could leverage. Vickery Wholesale Greenhouse is an Austin Energy customer, and the utility provided a 10 year credit for all solar energy that he will create. In addition, Pat’s property was eligible for a USDA REAP (Rural Energy Program for America) Grant, covering 25% of the upfront system cost. The last incentive he qualified for was the 30% Federal Tax Credit. Pat describes NATiVE as an upbeat, positive, knowledgeable, hard working company that make this project painless and successful. NATiVE handled all of the paperwork for the various incentive programs involved.

The project goals were both environmental and financial. NATiVE “under promised and over delivered,” designing a 40.32 kW system that offset 70% of Pat’s electric bill. A month after the system had been turned on, the solar proved to be a great boon to the farm’s cash flow. Their August bill has a credit instead of the normal $1,500 charge.

Pat is very satisfied with his system, and excited to see that the monthly energy savings offset the loan payments that he is making. Once the loan is completely paid off in 7 years, it is cash positive from then on.

*Project Payback Update:

“With the USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grant for 25% of project costs and the Austin Energy commercial solar incentive, this project was projected to have a 7 year payback. However, when you figure in the 30% tax credit and 5-year MACRS depreciation tax benefit, that brings the payback down to under 4 years.”
– Cathy Redson, NATiVE Senior Commercial Consultant

Because of the financial performance that he is seeing, Pat is looking to add solar to his Dallas greenhouse location. On the Pat’s new website they are going to feature a section that shows how much they producing through their monitoring system, letting their community know they are now solar powered.

Pat would recommend NATiVE to businesses, his experience was nothing but good. NATiVE’s commitment goes beyond the installation and paperwork itself, providing assistance for the future when Pat will need to send yearly reports for his grant. Pat is so satisfied with everything he might even want NATiVE to build him a home. “No complaints here,” he says.

Project Details
40.32 kW system
– 20.475 kW roof mount array on main office building
– 19.485 kW ground mount behind the greenhouse
– 57,618 kWh generated annually
– Offsets about 70% of Vickery’s electric bill

– Solar Energy Production Credit from Austin Energy
– USDA’s REAP Grant
– 30% Federal Tax Credit
– MACRS depreciation tax benefit

If you have a similar business, and are interested in hearing about solar benefits from a current customer and NATiVE Renewable Energy expert, please feel free to get in touch with us.