May 23, 2013 - Green Buildings
As a solar PV (photovoltaic) project developer, we talk to hundreds of New England based companies who are embracing the idea of going green with solar renewable energy solutions. Some are just starting down the green path and others are already heavily involved with green activities.
Worcester based Discover Marble & Granite is one of those companies for which deploying solar is the crowning jewel in an environmental crown that is already heavily green. When Discover recently turned on its 133 KW solar PV system on the roof of its Worcester office and showroom, it really epitomized the company's overall "zero-waste" philosophy.
Specializing in residential and commercial interior stonework, Discover Marble & Granite offers eco-friendly and sustainable materials as part of its product portfolio. Discover also utilizes the latest environmentally friendly technologies - such as using a natural water resource to cut the stone materials and then recycling that water via a closed-loop system for use again. All scrap materials are recycled into landscape materials. Instead of using "throw away" plywood forms to measure surface areas, Discover utilizes a CAD system for more accuracy and zero waste. Employees travel to and from customer sites in highly energy efficient vehicles. The company has done everything it can to reduce its carbon footprint as much as possible, and is always on the lookout for a better way to get things done.
The company's plans are not over yet; it expects to expand the current solar PV system in the coming months. Once both stages of the installation are complete, the solar PV system will be supplying 80% of the company's electricity demand with anticipated annual savings of nearly $20,000 off its electric bill.
Whether you're well down your green path -- like Discover Marble & Granite -- or just starting to embrace green practices and technologies, there is a solid case for considering solar electricity as part of your plan. In addition to helping the environment, there are "green marketing" benefits and attractive Federal and State financial incentives - 30% Investment Tax Credit and Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (MA). A professional solar project developer can help educate you on the benefits (and nuances) of these programs.
Jim Dumas is the president at Solect Energy Development, LLC, Hopkinton, Mass. and is a monthly contributing Solar Development author for the New England Real Estate Journal's Green Building section.