Swissturn/USA, a manufacturer of fine-precision metal and plastic components, has installed a 135.5 kilowatt (kW) solar energy system on the roof of its Oxford facility in partnership with Solect Energy Development, a Solar Power World Top 400 Contractor. The system is expected to cover up to 30 percent of the company’s electricity costs, saving Swissturn up to $20,000 a year.
Swissturn’s computer-controlled machines run 24/7; even when the last workers leave, the machines continue to produce components. That’s great for productivity, but means the company’s electricity bills are massive. The company considered installing solar a few years ago, but was planning to move to a new facility.
“When we moved into our new location, we went first class with everything,” said Ken Mandile, president of Swissturn/USA. “Solar was part of the plan for the new building, and Solect knew exactly how to help us maximize our system. We’ve significantly reduced our dependence on the grid, and have helped stabilize our electricity costs.”
In addition to the cost savings generated, Swissturn is also able to take advantage of state and federal financial and tax incentives, including SRECs (Solar Renewable Energy Certificates), which solar system owners earn based on the amount of solar energy their system generates. SRECs are ultimately purchased by electrical utility providers in Massachusetts to help them meet their state-mandated goals of a percentage of power coming from renewable energy sources.
“I was impressed how Swissturn created a culture of continuous improvement throughout the company, with employees contributing ideas to reduce costs and improve their operational effectiveness. This solar energy project will now help offset their energy costs and fits right into this company culture,” said Steve Bianchi, partner at Solect. “With solar, they have not only offset a significant part of their costs, but developed a solid revenue stream through SRECs as well while making a strong commitment to helping the environment.”
Project details: Installer: Solect
Panels: 451 panels from ET Solar Racking: Ecofoot 2 from Ecolibrium
Inverters: Solectria Renewables