SEYMOR, Conn.—Thule Inc., a manufacturer of transportation accessories, is planning to install a 318-kilowatt (kW) DC solar photovoltaic (PV) system provided by North Chelmsford, Mass.-based American Capital Energy.
“We are experts in maximizing a vehicles roof space and we are pleased to be able to use our building’s roof space to reduce and stabilize our energy cost,” said Fred Clark, president of Thule, Inc. “This installation represents yet another step Thule is taking to minimize our energy footprint. We have made substantial improvements in lighting, maintenance and operations over the past few years to achieve significant energy savings. We encourage our employees to ride bikes to work and provide facilities for those who do so—leading to Thule being recognized as an industry leader in going green by Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.”
The Thule solar PV system will consist of two separate arrays with a total of 1,876 solar panels. The PV system will supply an estimated 324,800 kWh annually, or about 26% of the facility’s total electrical needs. Thule will be hosting the system under a power purchase agreement (PPA), where Nautilus Solar Energy LLC, a developer of distributed generation and utility scale solar power projects, will own the solar system and Thule will purchase energy produced at a fixed price below current utility rate. This allows Thule to stabilize its energy costs and Nautilus to receive federal tax incentives, rebates and renewable energy credits associated with the project. The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund’s (CCEF) On-site Renewable Distributed Energy (DG) Program is providing a $1.3 million grant to subsidize the system.