Oct. 20, 2003 — RWE SCHOTT Solar, Inc. (RSS), a manufacturer and distributor of high-quality solar modules and systems, announced that its customer, La-Z-boy Furniture Galleries located in Rancho Cordova, Calif., has completed installation of a 30kW, non-penetrating SunRoofà¢â€ž- FS flat roof photovoltaic (PV) system capable of powering 10-20 average homes.
The building’s system qualifies for a rebate from Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s self-generation incentive program equal to half of the cost. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), through its relationship with the California Energy Commission’s (CEC) Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program, reduced the initial cost of the system by contributing $40,000 worth of PV panels to the project.
Converting sunlight into electricity has several beneficial effects, including the reduction of greenhouse gases, while providing a renewable, sustainable and clean form of energy. However, while building designers, architects and contractors may know about the “green” incentives, they are not always aware of the financial benefits available for commercial PV systems and therefore do not include PV in their plans. Often, owners of existing buildings are also unaware of these programs.
“The self-generation incentive program provides financial incentives to PG&E customers who install certain kinds and sizes of ‘clean’ on-site distributed generation,” said Anlin Ting-Mason, vice president of internet and energy program services at the utility.
“We verified the La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries’ system is authorized to operate in parallel with the electric grid, and that it meets other criteria established by the California Public Utilities Commission. Once this was done, we immediately issued them an incentive check for $83,567.50.”
Paul Bender, SMUD’s manager of power production added, “The development of the SunRoof FS system was partially funded through the California Energy Commission’s (CEC) Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program. As part of our Renewable Generation Research and Development program, SMUD was also able to contribute equipment to this installation, helping to further the Sacramento area as a center for the development, testing and implementation of new renewable generating technologies.”
Jim Reego, owner of the Rancho Cordova store, wanted to install a system to reduce his electricity bills and to help reduce pollution. Reego contracted RSS to build a system that would meet his needs. The company engineered the project and coordinated with PG&E and SMUD to be sure the store qualified and received funds from the state’s incentive program.
The system has a life expectancy of 25 years, and with the financial incentives in place, has a payback period of approximately seven years.
“There’s no doubt we wanted to install this system to bring our electricity costs down. But it wasn’t just that. We wanted to make a contribution that reduces greenhouse gases and helps California obtain a level of energy independence,” said Reego. “Even without the financial incentives we would eventually break even and have the system pay for itself. With the incentives, the break even point comes a lot faster and our savings just continue to grow.”
Tom Starrs, vice president of sales and marketing for RSS concluded, “There is a real opportunity for small and medium size businesses to install their own PV power generating stations on their buildings and to reap the benefits these financial incentive programs offer. In addition, as this market continues to grow, there is an opportunity for businesses specializing in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, as well as roofing and electrical contractors to add PV to their operations, using RSS for their design and engineering needs.”
ABOUT RWE SCHOTT Solar Inc.
RWE SCHOTT Solar Inc. is a North American manufacturer and distributor of solar power components and systems, serving customers throughout the Americas from sales offices in California, Colorado, Massachusetts and the State of Washington.
The company’s U.S. headquarters and manufacturing facility in Billerica, Massachusetts, produces the largest solar power module available worldwide, the ASE 300TM. A pioneer in the design and development of complete solar power solutions, RWE SCHOTT Solar Inc. serves a highly diverse market including grid-connected residential and commercial systems, and grid-independent agricultural, industrial, and governmental applications.
RWE SCHOTT Solar Inc. is a joint venture of the RWE Group, a global international multi-utility concern with core businesses in electricity, gas, water, waste management and recycling; and the SCHOTT Group, a leading international specialty glass manufacturer. The RWE and SCHOTT companies had combined sales of over $100 billion in 2002, and employ nearly 200,000 people worldwide. For more information, please visit: RWE Schott Solar Inc. – www.rweschottsolar.com;