Gloria Spire Solar, LLC, a joint venture company formed by solar industry leaders Spire Corporation and Gloria Solar Co., Ltd., today announced that it has won a contract to design and install a 308-kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) solar electric system at The Lee Company's manufacturing facility in Westbrook, Connecticut. This is the largest solar electric system to be installed for a manufacturing company in Connecticut, and one of the largest in New England.
The system, consisting of 1,760 photovoltaic panels on the roof of the newly constructed facility, is approximately half the size of a football field, covering nearly 29,000 square feet of roof space. At peak power, the system will generate enough electricity to cleanly provide 17 percent of the manufacturing facility's power consumption. This is equivalent to the power usage of 34 homes for one full year. In addition, this installation will eliminate the emission of 282 tons of carbon dioxide associated with combusting conventional fossil fuels.
For more than 50 years, The Lee Company has been a pioneer in the development of miniature fluid control components for aerospace and other industrial applications. The company employs nearly 800 people in Connecticut and more than 100 at its Westbrook facility. The installation of the 308-kilowatt system will play a crucial role in the company's plans for new facilities and jobs in the area.
"We are committed to employing renewable energy sources to lower costs while reducing the environmental impact of our operations in Connecticut," said William Lee, CFO of The Lee Company. "We chose Gloria Spire Solar because they are a recognized leader in providing turnkey solar systems and because they have the proven capability to manage the entire project from system design to installation and commissioning."
Gloria Spire Solar has installed a variety of PV systems across the United States, and The Lee Company project reflects the joint venture's current emphasis on large-scale business, government, and utility solar energy solutions.
Mark Goodreau, CEO of Gloria Spire Solar, LLC, said, "We are pleased that The Lee Company selected Gloria Spire for this substantial project. Solar is an attractive option for any company looking to utilize clean renewable energy while lowering their electricity costs. Gloria Spire Solar is unique in its ability to not only manage the entire design and installation process, but to work directly with government agencies and utilities to ensure a smooth approval process, as well as maximizing available grants, rebates, and other solar incentives."
"This is precisely the type of project we were targeting when we formed the Gloria Spire Solar joint venture," said Roger Little, Spire Corporation's chairman and CEO. "Spire is dedicated to making solar energy as prolific and cost-effective as possible. The strengths and focused efforts of Spire Corporation, Gloria Solar, and Gloria Spire Solar will help us to do just that."
The Lee Company solar energy project is made possible, in part, by a $1.2 million grant from Connecticut Innovations, which will defray approximately half of the cost of the photovoltaic system. Connecticut Innovations is a quasi-public organization dedicated to stimulating high-tech growth and clean energy initiatives.