Ridgefield Supply Co., a family-owned building materials company in Ridgefield, Conn., has flipped the switch on a 184 kW solar array, installed on roofs behind the company’s main store and showroom.
Over the course of one year, the solar panels are expected to save the company more than $75,000 through decreased energy costs and the use of zero-emission renewable energy credits (ZRECs), through which Ridgefield Supply Co. will be able to sell extra energy created by its solar system back to the utilities, Eversource and the United Illuminating Co.
“In July, when the more than 530-solar-panel installation began, Ridgefield Supply Co. had a simple goal: become a better than net-zero electrical consumer,” says Glen Albee, president. “Our goal of reducing our energy footprint has become a reality, and as of Thursday, Oct. 25, our solar panels have been in operation and generating energy.”
The project was deployed through the commercial property assessed clean energy (C-PACE) public-private financing program. Ridgefield officials allowed the town to become a C-PACE participating zone earlier in 2018, opening the door for local businesses to explore C-PACE solar and heat- or energy-reduction opportunities.
“The C-PACE program, approved by Ridgefield in March, is quickly proving a useful economic development tool for our business community,” states First Selectman Rudy Marconi. “We are happy to see several commercial property owners use C-PACE to access to long-term, low-cost capital to increase their energy efficiency and invest in renewables. Moreover, the program helps them lower their operating expenses while going green.”
“This is our first step toward energy independence,” Albee adds. “Now, we are producing energy at a rate faster than we are consuming energy, lessening our impact on the local electrical grid. Eventually, we will transition from pulling electricity from the grid to using the electricity our system generates.”
Greenworks Lending works with installer PurePoint Energy to assist companies on their path to going solar.
“Working with Ridgefield Supply as an early adopter of the C-PACE program in Ridgefield has been exciting,” says Adam Moskowitz, marketing manager of Greenworks Lending. “Their energy efficiency efforts and overall renovation have set a model for business growth in Fairfield County, while their deployment of solar through Greenworks and C-PACE demonstrates the utility of this program.”
According to Natalie Castro, product manager at PurePoint Energy, the location of the project is ideal for maximum solar production because of the brand-new roofs with next to no shading.
“Ridgefield Supply has proven to be an environmental leader, and as a staple in Ridgefield, we expect that their leadership will pave the way for the members of the community,” says Castro.
Photos courtesy of Michele Williams