Apple packing company installs 260 kW solar energy system with Solect Energy Development
AYER, MA—MAY 19, 2015— Joseph P. Sullivan & Co., Inc., a family-owned packer and shipper of local apples grown in New England and Eastern New York, has partnered with Solect Energy Development to install a 260 kilowatt (kW) solar energy system on the roofs of its Ayer apple packing and storage facilities. This project, combined with an earlier 99.5 kW solar project with Solect atop its office building, will cover more than 75 percent of the company’s electricity use.
JP Sullivan supplies fresh apples to supermarkets throughout the Eastern United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. At the facility, employees wash, sort, apply stickers and box apples for distribution. Much of the company’s electricity use comes from refrigerated storage, which keeps apples fresh for months after they are picked. Although the company completed an energy audit and installed new energy-efficient lighting, JP Sullivan wanted to further reduce operating expenses.
The company began looking at solar about five years ago, according to Ned O’Neill, vice president at JP Sullivan. “When we first looked at solar, the economics did not make sense,” O’Neill said. “However, with today’s financial and tax incentives in Massachusetts, a strong business case emerged. Solect was a strong partner in this; a turnkey operation that laid out all of our options and helped us understand the significant benefits of solar. Now, not only do our apples benefit from the sun, but our business does as well.”
In addition to the savings generated by off-setting electricity costs, JP Sullivan is also able to take advantage of state and federal tax and financial incentives, including SRECs (Solar Renewable Energy Certificates), which are financial incentives based on the amount of solar energy their system generates. Electrical utility providers in Massachusetts purchase SRECs to help them meet their state-mandated goals of a percentage of power coming from renewable energy sources.
“JP Sullivan is a great example of a company that saw such great benefits from solar that they decided to expand their commitment to renewable energy,” said Scott Howe, partner at Solect. “Their second system will significantly reduce their dependence on the Grid for electricity, and provide a new revenue stream through SRECs.”