General Electric - Solar Power

Saturday, October 3, 2015

“Our company is growing, and our electricity costs were rising about 5% a year as we expanded. Working with GE, we saw an opportunity to take control of our energy future in a way that was both economic and sustainable.”

-Larry Grossbard, general manager of President Container Group

 

Purpose of the project

As a manufacturer of corrugated shipping containers, President Container Group, Inc. (PCG) consumes a large amount of electricity. With retail electricity rates on the rise across the US, especially in the Northeast, the expense of electricity has become an increasing burden for the PCG business. PCG sought bids to install a solar system on its grounds as a means to reduce and stabilize energy costs and become a more sustainable organization. A solar energy system was an ideal solution for PCG, as each system may last for more than 20 years, with no need to purchase fuel and minimal maintenance required.

 

Approach

GE’s solar business acts as a full turnkey system developer. GE works closely with customers to understand their needs and configure the solution for each unique plot of land, rooftop or parking lot. While working with PCG, GE conducted multiple site visits to walk the proposed installation area with engineers and installer sub-contractors. During these visits and with the data gathered from the property, GE evaluated the solar resource potential at the site, configured the system and procured best-in-class equipment to meet the customer’s needs. Additionally, GE supported PCG during its permitting, and local incentive and utility application processes. GE is currently building the system.

GE brings the benefit of experience with utilities, plus engineering, sourcing, and development expertise so that customers can gain the benefits of solar energy savings while continuing to focus on their current business operations. For PCG, GE configured a ‘fixed-tilt’ ground mounted system to provide the highest value and performance certainty over the anticipated 25 year life of the system. A GE warranty also backs the system, so PCG has the comfort of knowing that quality concerns will be swiftly handled by GE’s solar team during the warranty period.

 

Results

President Container Group purchased the GE system to offset a portion of their utility bill with electricity generated from solar energy. The ground-mount solar system is 2.033MW in size and is currently under construction. Upon completion in the fall of 2015, it will be one of the largest privately owned solar systems in New York and the first industrial scale system in Orange County. The solar array will produce roughly 2,500,000 kWhs annually, offsetting one quarter of the company’s energy needs. PCG’s energy savings will continue to increase over time as retail electricity rates rise across America. Additionally, PCG will reduce its carbon footprint, as the solar system’s annual production is expected to avoid 1,723 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, which is the equivalent of taking 8,444 cars off the road over the system’s total operating life. GE’s solar team is proud to help President Container Group reduce CO2 emissions and lock in valuable savings for the next 25 years.