With a new 257 kilowatt photovoltaic rooftop array, Pro Pel Plastech in Massachusetts is recycling more than just plastics, it’s recycling the sun. The array is capable of producing roughly 25 percent of the South Deerfield, Mass., company’s energy needs at its processing facility. There have been a lot PV arrays installed at waste-water treatment facilities, but seemingly not as many at recycling facilities.
The project was developed by Dynamic Solar, which is focused on commercial-scale projects in the northeast. The company is particularly focussed on markets with solar renewable energy credits (SRECs), said David Deutsch, vice president of business development and project finance for Dynamic Solar, said in an interview with cleanenergyauthority.com. “The main reason we were selected is we take a more consultative approach with our customers. We’re not hard systems sales guys,” he said.
The company focusses on professionalism and has a good track record and referrals, according to Deutsch. “We helped [Joe Nickerson Pro Pel CEO] to steer through the process and educated him.” The education included teaching him about the SREC options and financing options. “We’re not just an EPC company trying to sell a system.”
In fact, the project was the first to win a loan to finance a solar project through Mass Development’s Green Loan program. Mass Development is an economic development organization that works numerous players to increase economic activity in Massachusetts.
The SREC market will allow Pro Pel to sell credits to local utilities for the clean power the system produces. Such markets have run into problems in other states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania, where the markets enticed quicker than expected growth, drastically bringing down the value of SRECs for system owners. That’s not the case in Massachusetts, according to Deutsch. “In Massachusetts they haven’t really come down. It’s been pretty solid, north of $500. It’s the long-term SREC prices that have come down.”
On the other hand, the Massachusetts solar installation market may soon face constraints from a net-metering cap. “Personally I think now is a great time to get [commercial] projects online in Massachusetts. Because they’re running up against the net-metering cap,” Deutsch said. Legislation is pending to expand the amount of net-metered electricity in the state, but right now the limit is close to being met at most of the state’s utilities, he said
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