Herbold USA (North Smithfield, RI), a developer of systems and equipment for the recycling of plastics, is taking steps to make its Rhode Island headquarters more eco-friendly by switching over to solar. Factors that weighed in on the decision were to reduce energy costs and support the company’s environmental stewardship issues.
Earlier this year, the firm installed a rooftop solar energy system to provide electrical power to its 10,000-square-foot facility located in North Smithfield. The system, which consists of 80 panels, takes up about 20% of Herbold’s available roof space and is able to produce 28,000 KW of clean, reliable, renewable energy.
“We’ve been interested in solar for purely environmental reasons since we built this facility in 2013,” said Herbold President David Lefrancois. “As we looked more closely at the systems available today, we realized that the savings, in terms of energy cost, were dramatic. When we combined the cost reductions with the environmental impacts, going solar was a no brainer.”
Herbold management partnered with RGS Energy to configure and install the new system. Unlike Solar Leasing or Solar Service Plans, Herbold owns the system so from the day it is activated (expected to be Jan. 4, 2016) Herbold’s electric bill will zero out.
“Based on available State rebates and Federal Tax Credits, we felt that purchasing everything up front made the most sense for our business,” commented Lefrancois. “Our estimates show the system will be fully paid for with energy savings in less than 3 years.”
Unlike some states, in Rhode Island, there is no provision to sell excess power back to the Utility. However, on days when Herbold is generating more power than it is using, its electric meter will literally spin backwards and the Utility will “bank” energy credits that the company can use on cloudy days or when they are unable to generate sufficient power for their needs.
Herbold Meckesheim USA is a subsidiary of Herbold Meckesheim Germany. The company designs, manufactures and installs size-reduction equipment (shredders, granulators, etc.) and wash-line systems for the plastics industry, specializing in the recycling of industrial and post-consumer plastics.