Solar System Powers Martin Limestone’s Concrete Facility

Mage Solar and Paradise Energy have installed a 1.12 MW solar farm at construction materials supplier Martin Limestone’s New Holland, Penn. property that the companies say will supply about 50 percent of the concrete facility’s needs.

Martin Limestone says it opted for renewable energy at the New Holland facility in an effort to stay cost competitive amidst rising utility costs. The site is home to a block and ready-mix manufacturing plant as well as warehouses, stores and offices.

Rather than investing in and securing financing for a solar system, the company entered into a power purchase agreement Sunstream Energy, a sister company of Paradise Energy. The investment company is leasing five acres of land on New Holland Concrete’s property where it has installed the solar photovoltaic (PV) farm. In return, Sunstream Energy sells the generated electricity to New Holland Concrete under a 25-year fixed rate.

This, according to Martin Limestone CEO Jeff Detwiler, allows the company to lock in long-term electric rates without a significant upfront investment, and the system generates the highest amounts of power during peak production times.

The 4,480 Mage Powertec Plus PV modules are mounted on eight rows of ground mounts and are expected to generate 1.5 million kWh annually. Paradise Energy built the system in four months and will continue to monitor its power production.

The Department of Treasury’s 1603 grant program covered 30 percent of the project costs. The system came online at the end of December 2012.

Also this month, Panasonic Eco Solutions North America completed a 500 kW PV solar installation at the University of Colorado Boulder, and Volkswagen opened a solar park on 33 acres adjacent to its LEED Platinum manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, Tenn. VW’s 9.5 MW solar park contains 33,600 solar modules from JA Solar designed to produce 13.1 gigawatt hours of electricity per year.


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