The Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. on Tuesday announced the launch of a 440-kilowatt rooftop solar installation that will provide power to several Navy Yard tenants, making it the state’s first community solar project. Construction of the Navy Yard Community Solar’s 1,295 photovoltaic panels is already underway on the rooftop of RevZilla.com’s East Coast warehouse and fulfillment center. The project is expected to produce about 930,000 kilowatt hours a year, about one-half of 1 percent of the Navy Yard’s total power. The project was conceived of and financed in part by Reinvestment Fund and the Sustainable Development Fund, which are providing a low-interest loan and grant to the project’s developer, SolarSense L.L.C. of Berwyn, Pa. SolarSense will own the project and sell the output to the Navy Yard. The solar power will be fed directly into the Navy Yard’s microgrid, and distributed to multiple customers, a concept known as community solar. PIDC will bill its solar customers a slightly higher rate for the renewable energy, said Rudy Terry, director of the Navy Yard Smart Grid. “There’s a lot of green-thinking customers here who don’t really care about the extra cost,” he said. PIDC plans to add a second Navy Yard solar project that would be commissioned next year to generate an additional 310 kilowatts. The total cost of the two phases is about $2 million, said Jennifer Tran, a PIDC spokeswoman.
Allen Harim’s poultry processing plant in Harbeson, Delaware, is now drawing power from a six-acre field of solar panels. A ribbon cutting was held at the facility May 15. The 1.57 megawatt, multi-million dollar solar project features 4,992 solar panels, and is projected to generate 2.3 million kWh of power each year, while reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 1,616 metric tons every year.
“This is another exciting environmental project for our company here in Harbeson and we are grateful to all our partners for making it happen,” said Joe Moran, president and CEO of Allen Harim. The energy produced by the solar panels will supply about 11 to 12 percent of the energy used at the Harbeson facility, he said.
Allen Harim will purchase 100 percent of the power produced from the solar panels under a 20-year power purchase agreement. The project was developed by Alternative Energy Development Group, Berwyn, Pennsylvainia, and is owned and operated by Onyx Renewable Partners.
“The addition of a multi-megawatt solar system which will generate clean, reliable and affordable power for decades to come for Allen Harim, fits perfectly with Allen Harim’s balanced approach to running a fiscally-prudent and environmentally-responsible company,” said Chris Fraga, founder and CEO of Alternative Energy Development Group. “We applaud Allen Harim’s investors, their leadership team and the Harbeson staff for their vision and commitment to the project.”
During the ribbon cutting ceremony, Fraga presented a check for $10,000 through the company’s Watts for Wishes charitable giving program to establish the Allen Harim Legacy Scholarship fund. Allen Harim will provide a $10,000 matching gift, and set up an endowed fund through the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore.
The Allen Harim Legacy Scholarship will provide $2,500 scholarships for children of employees and growers to attend college or trade schools. The company plans to use the savings from the solar project to grow the endowed fund to provide up to five scholarships a year.
“Some people seem to think we have to choose between having a cleaner, stronger environment and having a robust economy. I disagree. It is possible to pursue policies that protect our environment and public health, while creating jobs and growing our economy,” said US Sen. Tom Carper, ranking member on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “By pursuing clean and green energy, businesses like Allen Harim can reduce energy costs and be more competitive. I’m also so very pleased that Allen Harim will reinvest in its employees by using some of the savings toward college scholarships. That’s a true commitment to our local community.”
WILMINGTON >> Cost savings and cleaner energy are cited as reasons behind the Hermitage Club's move to solar.
The 20-year power purchase agreements for energy will involve construction of five new solar farms by 2016. Two of the sites will be on Hermitage property, but all of them are expected to power up to 90 percent of the company's private ski resort operations at Haystack Mountain and maybe more.
Hermitage Club owner and founder Jim Barnes has been talking about the possibility of the project with SolarSense, an affiliate of Alternative Energy Development Group, for nearly a year.
"It's something that's been a priority to Jim (Barnes) and the Hermitage Club," said Meredith Morin, director of communications for the Hermitage Club. "There's so many interesting things about it."
All five sites are expected to produce an amount of energy that is greater than 2,900,000 kilowatt hours annually while reducing the carbon dioxide equivalent of 2,000 metric tons a year or 2,147,000 pounds of coal burned. Two 150kW projects will be located at the resort and three 500kW projects will be off premises.
"We will first be applying production credit to the Hermitage Club's Haystack (operations) and its large electrical consumption," SolarSense founder and CEO Chris Fraga said. "We will then apply additional production to the other various properties owned by Hermitage until we use up all of the production and credits that we are generating."
Fraga was referring to properties which include a golf course and airport. If all the solar farms are successfully developed, he believes the additional properties could be powered through the efforts. He said the third-party landowner sites are already under development.
"The total cost of the solar farms is in the $6 to $8 million range, depending on the final number of sites constructed," he said.
Design, planning and vetting for the Hermitage sites is currently underway. Fraga is looking at a location on the north side of an existing ski trail that follows the contour of the trail and a place above an existing water retention basin that would be elevated in a way to not interfere with the basin.
Permitting and utility approval is expected in the spring then construction would occur through the summer and fall.
"The hope is to be online and using this power by the end of 2016," Morin said, mentioning that she's heard "a few other rumblings on the horizon" for future clean energy plans such as electrical charge stations for cars.
SolarSense also has projects with the state of Vermont and several commercial clients. But the Hermitage project is one of the only groups using the credits rather than selling them, Morin said.
"We have elected not to sell those. It is total green power," she said. "I think it's such a huge commitment to the environmental sustainability of the area and really taking into account the way we, as a club and as Vermonters in general, consume energy and the way we're trying to find ways to be kinder in our consumption."
The ski resort alone has five lifts to receive power from the solar farms. SolarSense will develop, own and operate the projects while KRN Solar will design, engineer and construct them. Several Vermont-based professional service firms and trades groups are expected to contribute to the projects, which will generate new local municipal and state taxes.
Contact Chris Mays at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-254-2311, ext. 273.
SolarSense, a provider of clean, reliable and affordable power for commercial and industrial scale customers in the U.S., announced the commissioning and financing of 2.15 megawatts (MW) of net metering projects utilizing American-made AllEarth Solar Trackers.
The five solar tracking projects, all net metered in Vermont, were commissioned and placed in service in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Among the projects were three, 500 kilowatt (kW) projects for the State of Vermont, providing solar energy at below market rates to correctional facilities and state office buildings.
Two additional projects are providing solar energy to three prominent Vermont businesses – Danforth Pewter, Gardener’s Supply, and Wake Robin. All projects are retaining the Renewable Energy Credits associated with the energy production.
The five projects were all constructed utilizing AllEarth Solar Trackers, manufactured in Williston, Vt. by AllEarth Renewables, which track the sun throughout the day to maximize energy production. The award-winning trackers are utilized across the U.S. for residential and commercial scale solar projects.
The 24-panel trackers are equipped with SunPower solar panels, the most efficient solar photovoltaic (PV) panel commercially available. SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) is a leading solar technology and global energy services provider based in Silicon Valley, Ca.
Building on the success of 2014, SolarSense and AllEarth will develop, construct, and finance 6MW of net metering projects in 2015-2016, largely for State of Vermont facilities and their power needs.
“The optimized design pairing of ultra-high efficiency SunPower solar panels with the reliable AllEarth dual axis tracker to harvest the sun has proven to be a winning combination,” said Chris Fraga, founder and CEO of SolarSense LLC, the project developer. “We celebrate the State of Vermont’s commitment to sourcing solar generated power through long term Power Purchase Agreements, and the commitment to sustainability by the teams at Danforth Pewter, Gardener’s Supply, and Wake Robin.”
“We are excited to be working with SolarSense as a financing partner. Their expertise in financing renewable energy projects around the country will help us continue our national growth,” said David Blittersdorf, president and CEO of AllEarth Renewables. “By utilizing our tracking technology, we can maximize production, boosting the total solar savings for both the off-taking customers and the economic returns for the owners of each project.”
Danforth Pewter and Gardener’s Supply Company, a nationally known businesses based in Vermont, has partnered on a solar system for emission-free power. Danforth Pewter, a family business producing fine pewter work, is located in Middlebury Middlebury with stores in Burlington, Woodstock and Waterbury. Gardener’s Supply, an employee-owned business providing environmentally friendly gardening products, has its headquarters in Burlington. They have cooperated on a new solar array on the Pulling Farm in Addison.
The 144 kilowatt (kW) system consists of SunPower 345-watt photovoltaic (PV) panels mounted on dual axis AllSun Trackers supplied by AllEarth Renewables of Williston, Vermont. The tracking mounts follow the sun, so the panels get greatest exposure as the sun moves across the sky. This means that the panels will provide optimal performance for the location where they are installed.
Because the system is optimized, it should produce 36% more energy than fixed-tilt PVs mounted on racks. A test of the tracking system got 1660 kWh of electricity per kW of PV panels, over the course of a year.
The electricity from the system is supplied through a power purchase agreement with SolarSense, LLC. The system operates through Green Mountain Power’s net metering program, so Danforth Pewter and Gardener’s Supply will be getting electricity at below market rates through the contract with SolarSense. SolarSense is also undertaking to support a child in the Vermont Make-A-Wish Foundation as part of their “Watts for Wishes” charity program.
Fred and Judi Danforth, owners of Danforth Pewter. Photo courtesy of Anjanette Lemak, Designer at Danforth Pewter.
Chris Fraga, founder and CEO of SolarSense, LLC, commented on the project, “This is a win through and through for Vermont and the stakeholders in the project.” He stressed the fact that a number of suppliers and service partners were Vermont companies. In addition, the Vermont Economic Development Authority provided debt financing, and Green Mountain Power provided interconnects as part of their work to make Vermont a leader in Sustainable Energy. He added, “This project epitomizes our mission of socially conscious energy development, and we could not be more honored to be part of this initiative.”
Williston, VT Danforth Pewter and Gardener’s Supply Company, two nationally recognized Vermont-based specialty companies, have turned to the sun for emission-free power.
“This is a win through and through for Vermont and the stakeholders in the project.” - Chris Fraga, Founder and CEO of SolarSense LLC
Danforth Pewter is a family-owned fine pewter crafter based in Middlebury, Vt. Gardener’s Supply, headquartered in Burlington, Vt., is an employee-owned company providing environmentally friendly gardening products and information through its website, catalogs, and retail stores. The two companies will share the output of the newly installed solar array.
The 144kW (ac) system, constructed on the Pulling Farm in Addison, Vt., features dual axis AllSun Trackers, manufactured in Williston, Vt. by AllEarth Renewables, SunPower 345-watt solar panels, and a Power Purchase Agreement by SolarSense, LLC, a provider of clean, reliable and affordable power.
The ground-mounted solar systems, installed under Green Mountain Power’s net metering program, will provide emissions-free, net metered solar electricity for each company at below-market rates through long-term energy contracts financed, owned, and operated by SolarSense, LLC.
The project was constructed utilizing AllSun Trackers, which track the sun throughout the day to maximize energy production, and the most efficient solar photovoltaic (PV) panel commercially available from SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR), a leading solar technology and global energy services provider based in Silicon Valley, Calif. The optimized design has proven to be a winning combination. In live “test energy” production the system produced 1,660kwh per kilowatt, a 36% output premium over traditional fixed-tilt racking and standard efficiencypanels.
As part of the project, SolarSense will grant a Vermont Make-A-Wish Foundation child his or her wish as part of their “Watts for Wishes” charitable giving program.
“This is a win through and through for Vermont and the stakeholders in the project,” said Chris Fraga, Founder and CEO of SolarSense LLC, the project developer. “Not only will two of Vermont’s leading specialty firms embrace emission-free power as part of their sustainability objectives; AllEarth Renewables supplied the AllSun Trackers and provided engineering and construction services from their Williston headquarters; numerous Vermont suppliers and service partners provided products and construction services; the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) provided debt financing for the project; Green Mountain Power interconnects yet another solar PV system in their mission to make Vermont a leader in sustainable energy; and a Make-A-Wish child from Vermont will have his orherwish fulfilled and funded by SolarSensevia the “Watts for Wishes” charitable giving program. This project epitomizes our mission of socially conscious energy development, and we could not be more honored to be part of this initiative.”
“AllEarth Renewables and SolarSense made it really easy for Danforth to become, as far as we know, the world's first solar-powered pewter workshop,” said Bram Kleppner, CEO of Danforth Pewter. “We have been working on reducing our impact on the environment for a long time, and the creation of this solar farm allowed us to wipe out most of our electric energy carbon emissions in one fell swoop. Since the solar project is sited on land owned by one of our employees, this project really hit a sweet spot: Danforth gets reduced electricity costs, the employee who's hosting the installation reduces her power bills more or less to zero, and the atmosphere stays a little cleaner. The fact that we're partnering with our friends at Gardener's Supply as we both convert our businesses to renewable energy just makes it that much sweeter."
“The employee owners of Gardener’s Supply could not be more pleased to partner with Danforth Pewter, AllEarth Renewables and SolarSense to develop 100 percent renewable solar energy to power our Williston garden center,” said Jim Feinson, president of Gardener’s Supply Company. “Gardeners are truly America’s backyard environmentalists, improving the world one garden at a time. They also have a very intimate relationship with the sun! Now Gardener’s Supply can say we are improving our own “backyard,” and every garden center customer can feel even better shopping with us knowing the substantial electrical energy needed for our greenhouses and store is coming from solar.”
“We are thrilled to partner with SolarSense to provide locally-produced solar power for two iconic Vermont companies. Both Danforth Pewter and Gardener’s Supply have strong national reputations and their decision to go solar sends a strong message about the economic and environmental benefits of business-led renewable energy leadership,” said David Blittersdorf, president and CEO of AllEarth Renewables. “By utilizing our tracking technology with high efficiency SunPower panels, we can maximize production, boosting the total solar savings for Danforth Pewter and Gardener’s Supply and the economic returns for each project. It’s a real winning combination.”
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Danforth Pewter and Gardener’s Supply Company, two nationally recognized Vermont-based companies, have turned to the sun for emission-free solar power. The two companies will share the output of solar from the newly installed Vermont solar array. The 144 KW system, constructed on the Pulling Farm in Addison includes dual axis AllSun Trackers, manufactured by AllEarth Rewneables and a PPA (Power Purchase Agreement). Danforth Pewter is located in Burlington, providing enviormentally friendly gardening products and information through its website, caalogs, and retail stores. The ground-mounted soalr systems will provide emissions-free, net metered solar electricity for each of the two companies.
“ AllEarth Rewneables and SolarSense made it really easy for Danforth to become, as far as we know, the world’s first solar-powered pewter workshop,” said Bram Kleppner, CEO of Danforth Pewter. This is a win through and through for Vermont and the stakeholders in the project,” said Chris Fraga, Founder and CEO of SolarSense LLC.
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Gold Crust Baking is committed to consistently delivering high quality breads with a sustainable and environmentally friendly business model. Its new 92,000-sq-ft production plant uses natural gas ovens, LED lighting and now generates 533,000 kWh of power from its new solar system.
Summary: In its contract with Gold Crust Baking, AEDG/SolarSense had a requirement to supply a minimum amount of electricity to the building. It wouldn’t have been able to meet that minimum requirement by using the typical approach to designing commercial rooftop solar, which is to prioritize power density (kW) over power generation (kWh). Instead the developer chose to use SolarDock to achieve a high tilt angle that would help the modules produce more energy, and Motech panels for the high quality and reliability over the lifetime of the panel.
Contractor: Keares Electric
Module Manufacturer: Motech
Inverter Manufacturer: Eaton
Mounting/Racking Manufacturer: SolarDock
Project Location: Hyattsville, Maryland
Project Size: 429 kW
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Delaware’s Motech Americas LLC, a subsidiary of Motech Industries, Inc., today announced that 1,430 of its U.S. manufactured 300-Watt solar panels, being installed at a leading Landover, MD baking facility, are contributing to the annual elimination of 869,000 lbs. of CO2 emissions, 1,405 lbs. of nitrogen dioxide emissions and 3,200 lbs. of sulfur dioxide emissions while reducing electricity costs by some $250,000. The system, at Gold Crust Baking Company, Inc. began construction in the fourth quarter of 2013 and will be fully operational in 2014. MOTECH Americas works to provide a global source of clean and renewable energy, and strives to create a sustainable environment for future generations.
“This is a valuable and responsible undertaking,” said Dave Holleran, Senior Manager of Module Sales for Motech Americas, “because of the significantly reduced environmental footprint that will result. Specifically, the project will have tangible environmental benefits, including the equivalent of 909,407 car miles not driven and 10,126 trees grown for 10 years.
“To accomplish the savings,” he added, “1,430 MOTECH 300-watt Solar PV Panels are being installed. This will provide Gold Crust Baking Company, Inc. with 545,000 kWh’s of clean electricity annually, and more than 10.3Mill kWh’s over the term of the Power Purchase Agreement. And, with the panels’ proven record of efficiency and long-term reliability, the savings are sure to offer Gold Crust Baking Company, Inc. and their surrounding communities many years of satisfaction.”
According to Chris D. Fraga, Founder & CEO of SolarSense LLC, who developed the project and owns and operates the Power Purchase Agreement, “Gold Crust Baking Company, Inc. has been committed to sustainability by purchasing wind-generated electricity from a third party supplier, and as their business expanded they wanted to further protect and preserve our planet for future generations. On-site Solar PV generation on their large, flat roof made sense as the next step. Due to their rapid growth, Gold Crust Baking Company, Inc. partnered with SolarSense to develop, finance, construct, own and operate the Solar PV System on a turnkey Power Purchase Agreement basis versus developing the system themselves. Based on SolarSense’s previous success with MOTECH Panels in other PPA projects, we selected MOTECH as the ideal panel supplier and partner.”
SolarSense channel partner NetGain Energy Advisors (http://www.netgainenergyadvisors.com/index.php) sourced the 1.6 MW project which will be fully engineered, designed and constructed by SPG Solar (http://www.spgsolar.com/), located in Petaluma, CA. Construction on the project will begin in Q1'14 and be completed in Q2'14. SPG Solar was selected as the logical EPC partner for the project, with over 100MW's and 1,500 client sites successfully installed. This project marks the second Solar PV development project between partners SolarSense and SPG Solar in CA, totaling 3.9MW's across 6 client sites.