Alpha Rho, an injection molder of rigid plastic boxes, is installing a 238.4-kilowatt solar energy system on its Fitchburg manufacturing center, which will produce more than 80 percent of the power needed to run the company’s manufacturing, warehousing and administrative operations, according to President David Tall.
The system, being installed by Hudson, Mass.-company New England Clean Energy, is projected to deliver electricity savings of more than $1.6 million over 25 years (factoring in inflation). In addition, Alpha Rho will benefit from a new revenue stream created by the sale of solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs), arranged by New England Clean Energy.
To finance the solar, Alpha Rho opted for a 7-year traditional lease from LFC Capital, Inc., which eliminated any upfront capital investment. Instead, Alpha Rho will make 100% tax-deductible fixed monthly payments, creating a low-cost path to ownership at a substantially reduced purchase option price.
“The return on investment with solar is phenomenal. The low cost of ownership thanks to the LFC lease, plus the SREC income and electricity savings, adds up to a significant impact on our bottom line profitability, while we do something good for the planet at the same time,” Tall said.
“Solar energy is a great option for businesses like Alpha Rho who are looking to divert high daytime electricity spending back into their business and workforce,” said Senator Jennifer L. Flanagan (D-Leominster). “As the legislature continues its work to increase the net metering cap and expand the availability of SRECs for other small businesses, I am encouraged by Alpha Rho’s ability to invest in their economic future through this collaboration with other Massachusetts companies.”
The solar energy system is slated to be installed by New England Clean Energy on the roof of Alpha Rho’s 36,000-sq.-ft. facility in April. It will have 745 Canadian Solar 320-watt panels, SolarEdge inverters with optimizers under each panel, and Sollega racking and mounting hardware.
“We looked at various solar contractors over the past few years and decided to work with New England Clean Energy because they’re a local business with outstanding customer service and reviews,” Tall said.
“The environmental benefit of installing solar is as appealing as the financial benefit, since Alpha Rho is committed to sustainable operations,” Tall said. The solar energy system will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air by 412,800 pounds per year, which is equivalent to taking 39 cars off the road, or planting almost 150 acres of trees.
The Alpha Rho project team also included Dube and Hazelwood accountants of Leominster, Mass.; and Erb & Southcotte attorneys-at-law and Rollstone Bank & Trust, both of Fitchburg, Mass.