The manufacturing industry has faced its fair share of challenges in the United States. As the global economy has driven more and more facets of the industry overseas where overhead is less expensive, and regulatory restrictions are less severe - allowing for larger margins and easier operation. However, many companies have remained dedicated to maintaining their operations on American soil, delivering quality products while providing careers for millions across the country.
These manufacturers face stiff opposition from their counterparts overseas to remain competitive in spite of the inherent challenges associated with operating stateside. Energy costs generally account for a large portion of manufacturers’ overhead, and until recently were an insurmountable obstacle for these business.
Today, solar energy presents the perfect complement to the operational hurdles faced by manufacturers, allowing them to leverage and monetize their buildings roof space, while significantly reducing their energy costs. Solar delivers less expensive clean energy during peak demand periods throughout the day, making bills more predictable and saving businesses money everyday for the 20+ year life of the array.
Solect has helped dozens of manufacturers throughout New England turn the challenge of their energy costs into an opportunity. The most recent of which, was Accurounds, a precision manufacturer in Southeastern Massachusetts who is also a leader in helping to support educational opportunities for the skilled workers needed to keep the industry running. On April, 26th Solect held a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate their installation which was held in conjunction with a STEM education and business event that demonstrated the progress and inter dependencies of the state’s economic, education and clean energy initiatives.
While Accurounds is the most recent example of a local manufacturer taking advantage of solar energy, Solect has partnered with several other manufacturing businesses to help them take control of their energy costs with solar.
Location: Avon, MA
System Size: 162 kW
Panels Installed: 405
Installation Date: January, 2018
AccuRounds, founded in 1976, is a leader in Advanced Manufacturing. They machine precision mechanical components such as shafts, pins and bushings for a variety of industries including medical, aerospace, defense, oil and gas, and emerging technology. The company's 162 kilowatt (kW) rooftop solar array is comprised of 405 photovoltaic (PV) panels and is projected to generate 187,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy annually. It is estimated that the array will cover approximately 18% of the manufacturer’s energy needs, and is expected to generate $460,000 in savings over the life of the array.
North Atlantic Corporation
Location: Somerset, MA
System Size: 1,551 kW
Panels Installed: 4,250
Installation Date: October, 2016
North Atlantic Corp (NAC) is one of the largest millwork distributors and custom manufacturer of windows, doors, kitchens and stairs to the residential and commercial markets in New England. North Atlantic Corp installed a 1.55 MW array that covers up to 90% of the company’s energy costs, tremendously reducing their monthly energy bill. The benefits are palpable, as NAC’s savings help them pay for their investment in a new building and more. Factor in the avoided instability and price hikes of the energy market and the array is working for North Atlantic Corp on a number of levels.
Location: Southbridge, MA
System Size: 658 kW
Panels Installed: 1621
Installation Date: August, 2015 & 2017
Established in Southbridge, MA over 100 years ago, Hyde Tools has grown from a cutlery manufacturer to a manufacturer of hand tools for remodeling and home repair. With the installation of their 350 kw array in 2015, Hyde Tools offset 13% of its annual electricity costs, saving over $180,000 per year. The solar savings have allowed Hyde to keep manufacturing jobs in Massachusetts, and were so significant they went on to install a second array, nearly doubling their production and savings numbers.
Location: Easthampton, MA
System Size: 201 kW
Panels Installed: 560
Installation Date: June, 2017
Chemetal is one of the world’s largest sources of metal designs and laminates for commercial and residential building projects. The 50 year-old, family-owned business has a strong commitment to green practices. Having recently doubled the size of their facility they recognized adding solar to their new roof as a real opportunity to offset the new operating costs. With their solar installation, they save approximately $25,000 annually on their electricity bill.
Location: Oxford, MA
System Size: 135 kW
Panels Installed: 451
Installation Date: January, 2015
Swissturn/USA is a family-owned manufacturer of fine-precision metal and plastic components located in Oxford, MA. The company employs 50 high-tech employees. The solar energy system reduces Swissturn’s electricity costs by up to 30 percent annually, saving the company up to $20,000 each year. In addition, Swissturn is able to generate significant additional revenue annually through the SREC incentive program.
Location: Hudson, MA
System Size: 240 kW
Panels Installed: 330
Installation Date: November, 2011
Fourstar Connections is a contract manufacturing firm based in Hudson, MA. Fourstar Connections was founded in 1986 as a cable assembly shop, but over the years grew in volume and added more capabilities to the product mix. Fourstar Connections enjoys significant electricity cost savings through their solar system. Additionally, the company is also able to take advantage of state and federal tax incentives, including SRECs.
Location: Billerica, MA
System Size: 82 kW
Panels Installed: 350
Installation Date: December, 2012
Wilevco has been building and perfecting innovative, quality machinery for the Food Processing Industry for over 50 years! They offer equipment used in three distinct areas: spray application of coatings, mixing of liquid batters, and chilling of liquids and slurries. The system has offset approximately one-third of the building’s energy costs, while also allowing WILEVCO to benefit from state and federal tax incentives, and the sale of Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs).
Old Time Sports
Location: Salisbury, MA
System Size: 175 kW
Panels Installed: 594
Installation Date: March, 2014
Old Time Sports is a family-owned apparel company located on the North Shore of Massachusetts. The company is an NHL licensee, providing apparel to sporting teams across North America. The system covers 100 percent of the company’s annual electricity needs, generating up to $70,000 a year in environmentally friendly electricity.
Location: Woburn, MA
System Size: 261 kW
Panels Installed: 656
Installation Date: Installation Date: October, 2017
Yeuell Nameplate & Label is a manufacturer of custom nameplates, labels and decals who has been in business since 1913 and supplies product identification systems to companies worldwide. The 261 kW array is big enough to cover 50% of Yeuell’s energy costs on an annual basis. Additionally, the company is also able to take advantage of state and federal tax incentives, including SRECs which will provide additional revenue for years to come!
Location: Middleborough, MA
System Size: 457 kW
Panels Installed: 1,512
Installation Date: December, 2015
Mass Tank is the largest steel tank manufacturer in New England, and combines their ninety-year fabrication experience with their certified inspection staff to deliver solutions for any tank project. Under a long-term lease agreement, Mass Tank will receive annual lease payments for the use of their roof, from investor and array owner, IGS. As a result, Mass Tank gains an additional source of revenue for a twenty-year period and also allows Middleborough businesses and residents to benefit from adding local solar energy to the supply mix.