A green company gets greener
By GET staff
Resource Management, Inc. (RMI), of Holderness, New Hampshire, has been in the business of recycling for over twenty years. They provide recycling services for organic by-products from municipalities and businesses throughout the Northeast. Materials conservation goes hand-in-hand with energy conservation, so it is natural that they would give thought to reducing their electricity consumption. They did this by putting a south-facing roof to work, gathering the power of sunlight with photovoltaic (PV) panels.
It happens that another business, New England Commercial Solar Services (NECSS), is also in Holderness. They worked with RMI to realize RMI’s solar power vision. Ted Vansant of NECSS put together a team of local enterprises for the project. TG Design Carpentry and Solar, also of Holderness, was recruited for the project. Mauchly Electric, of Plymouth, New Hampshire, did design and solar installation work.
The ninety-two 260-watt PV panels on RMI’s roof were made by Solar World in the United States. Together, they are expected to produce 27,000 kWh of electricity each year. The electricity generated by the system will produce about 100% of RMI’s annual electric use and this is enabled through the NH Electric Co-op (NHEC) net-metering program.
The Plymouth Area Renewable Energy Initiative (PAREI) supplied technical assistance and energy auditing services for the project. PAREI’s Sandra Jones provided an explanation of the net-metering and renewable energy credits (RECs). “In addition to RMI receiving the monthly benefits of net-metering, this array will also generate at least 27 [RECs] annually,” she said. “NHEC must own a certain number of [RECs] to meet New Hampshire’s Renewable Portfolio Standard and net-metered Co-Op members, like RMI, can help them meet their REC requirement by selling these credits to NHEC.”
Solar power has a tiny carbon footprint. The panels nearly always far outlast twenty five-year warranties that are typical of the industry. But not only do they reduce emissions of carbon dioxide that would otherwise happen, they also reduce sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions. If RMI’s panels perform as expected, their 27,000 kWh per year represents reductions of over 189 tons of carbon dioxide, 216 pounds of sulfur dioxide, and 135 pounds of nitrogen oxides. And that is every year for as long as they last.
Shelagh Connelly, president of RMI, put the system into the context of her business. “This solar project feels like the ultimate example of re-using and recycling. The sun beats down on our roof most days, it makes good sense environmentally and economically to ‘re-use’ that solar power to produce all the electricity needed to run our main office, and then some!”