Massachusetts Solar Panel Company Sika Sarnafil — Greenskies

Project Profile

Greenskies Renewable Energy LLC developed a 154kW solar power plant for Sika Sarnafil in Canton, MA. The project was completed in August of 2010 and consists of 450 Solyndra modules and 325 Sharp modules. This comparative array is the first of its kind in the Northeast and allows for a side-by-side analysis of CIGS and mono-crystalline technology that both occupy 12,500ft. It will provide clean renewable power to Sika Sarnafils headquarter offices, as well as on-going comparative data for Greenskies.

Sika Sarnafil Inc. is one of the largest manufacturers of roofing materials in the world with headquarters in Switzerland and Canton MA. This installation marks the companys first major effort to use solar energy at their facilities. The execution of this solar power purchase agreement (SPPA) was spurred by Sikas interest in long-term energy savings as well as analyzing how different solar technologies and materials interact with their roofing products. Greenskies was offered 50,000 square feet of available roof space for the installation. That area was divided into 4 equal quadrants, each totaling 12,500 square feet. Solyndra and Sharp each occupy a quadrant with two different technologies soon to follow. By utilizing the SPPA option Sika had no out-of-pocket expense for the installation and will enjoy 20 years of discounted clean solar electricity without any operation and maintenance costs.

This project was constructed smoothly and without delay. The major challenges that accompanied this solar system came in the initial planning and permitting stages. The state of Massachusetts shifted its core incentive program from a rebate-based system to an SREC program mid-way through project negotiations. Throughout the winter of 2009 the incentive management authority would, without notice, dramatically lower the incentive levels forcing Greenskies to act swiftly to meet unsuspected deadlines. Through a cooperative effort with Sika and the MTC, all deadlines were met and the project received the necessary incentives to reach the construction phase.

Greenskies and construction management professionals, Centerplan Construction, worked together to execute a complicated engineering and design process. Since this project received a grant from the state of Massachusetts, it underwent a substantial third party oversight by a number of engineering and consulting agencies.

Greenskies and Centerplan Construction sourced all equipment directly from each manufacturer (Solyndra, Sharp, Solectria) and were able to keep the project under budget. The Sharp array, which sits on SolarDock racking, was installed in just five working days, while the self-ballasting Solyndra modules were laid out in just three days. Conduit runs, combiner boxes, monitoring and inverter installation took approximately two additional weeks to complete.

The 154kW system will provide Sika with an average of 180,000kwh per year, and will offset about 40% of the buildings total electric usage. For the next 20 years Sika will enjoy clean, reliable solar energy, far below the utility retail rate. The Solyndra and Sharp arrays will soon be joined by two more types of solar technologies, truly separating this installation from every other solar rooftop in the country. It will provide decades of analytical data for both companies, and will help Greenskies optimize every future rooftop it encounters by utilizing the most efficient equipment for a given environment.

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