How Massachusetts Economic and Education Initiatives are Coalescing To Support Vibrant “New Economy”
April 27, 2018 – Hopkinton, MA – Solect Energy, the state’s leading commercial-scale developer and installer of solar energy systems, joined Michael Tamasi, CEO of AccuRounds, Luis Lopes, Superintendent of Southeastern Vocational Technical High School and a panel of leading Southeastern Mass. businesses and education groups at a STEM education and business event last night that demonstrated the progress and interdependencies of the state’s economic, education and clean energy initiatives. Solect Energy’s newly installed rooftop solar arrays at AccuRounds and Southeastern Tech were highlighted as compelling examples of the synergies between advanced manufacturing, renewable energy companies and STEM education.
The event, called “Educating for the Future, 2020 & Beyond” was part of the Southeastern MA STEM Network’s series that brings together elected officials, community organizations, and education, business and community leaders. The goal is to showcase successful STEM programs between businesses and educational institutions, and to encourage additional complementary workforce development activities.
AccuRounds hosted the event at its Avon advanced manufacturing facility where it produces precision components for a range of innovative markets, including products used in clean energy technologies like wind turbines and solar systems. Solect Energy has built and installed more than 400 solar energy systems in Massachusetts and surrounding New England states, with an emphasis on commercial and industrial customers, public, educational and non-profit organizations. Solect’s systems drive down customers’ electricity costs, reduce manufacturing and operating expenses, and help to contribute positively to the environment. Southeastern Tech and its education cohorts are spearheading STEM education programs across the spectrum — PK-12, college-level and working adults — developing a well-prepared workforce that companies like AccuRounds and Solect are eager to employ.
“Massachusetts has focused on a number of key initiatives — an emphasis on supporting advanced manufacturing, STEM education and a commitment to clean energy — that have coalesced to support a dynamic economic cluster in our state,” said Matt Shortsleeve, Vice President of Development at Solect Energy. “The interdependencies of AccuRounds, Solect Energy and STEM educators such as Southeastern Tech, demonstrate the synergies that are driving our new economy. At Solect, we rely upon the next generation of skilled workers to help us grow and sustain our business in the renewable energy industry.”
According to the “Clean Energy Industry Report” from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), the number of clean energy jobs in the state has increased 81% between 2010 and 2017. Massachusetts employs 109,226 workers in clean energy jobs, which the MassCEC defines as jobs in renewable energy; energy efficiency, demand management, and clean heating and cooling; alternative transportation; and other. The Solar Foundation’s “Solar Job Census” reports that in 2017 there were 11,530 solar jobs in Massachusetts, which is the second largest in the nation, behind only California.
AccuRounds and Southeastern Tech partnered with Solect to install rooftop solar energy systems. Both organizations were eager to participate in the clean energy economy beyond their contributions of educating a workforce and producing key components. By pursuing solar, the two organizations benefit from substantially lower energy costs. These savings free up funds that can be used to support new educational programs, or spur business investments, such as new technology. In addition, both AccuRounds and Southeastern have the satisfaction of demonstrating their environmental commitment to their employees, customers, students, and communities.
AccuRounds’ 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. That is equivalent to charging 9350 electric vehicles or 37,400,000 smartphones a year. 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 25 year agreement.
“It makes good business sense to invest in solar energy,” said Michael Tamasi, President and CEO of AccuRounds. “Sustainability is part of our corporate mission, with a goal to progressively make our operations more green. As we manufacture precision components for the solar industry, we felt it would be beneficial to install our own array. Solect is an extremely knowledgeable solar partner. They understand the manufacturing business and worked hard with us to design and install a system that delivers maximum return on investment.”
Southeastern Tech expansive roof was able to support a 422 kW solar array. It is comprised of 1,056 modules, and is expected to provide about 40% of the electricity demand on-site. “Southeastern is committed to creating a learning environment that creates career pathways for our students, and we are committed to preparing them for professional careers in advanced manufacturing, renewable energy, and other high-paying, high-demand jobs of the future,” said Louis Lopes, Superintendent of Southeastern Tech. “Our solar agreement with Solect not only allows us to operate more efficiently, it demonstrates to our students the practical application of renewable technology and also serves as a working demonstration lab for students in our Electrical, Engineering, Life Sciences, and Advanced Manufacturing Programs.”
About Solect Energy
Solect Energy, based in Hopkinton, Massachusetts is the recognized leader in commercial-scale solar. We develop smart, customized strategies based on a deep assessment of each customer’s energy needs and requirements, then deliver solar design and installation solutions, operations and maintenance services, and the most advanced energy storage systems. Solect offers proven expertise in development, technology, policy, and incentives, as well as individualized financial guidance. Our practical, systematic approach helps businesses and organizations reduce energy costs and optimize their solar investment. To date, Solect has installed over 80 megawatts of commercial PV systems, with a focus on commercial, light industrial, and institutional properties throughout New England and Illinois.
AccuRounds, founded in 1976, is a leader in Advanced Manufacturing. We 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.