Chroma Technology was founded in 1991 as an employee-owned company to manufacture optical filters for a variety of scientific purposes. Its products are used for purposes ranging from biology to astronomy and machine vision. It is a B-corp. It has over 100 employees, and is located near Bellows Falls, Vermont. It also has offices in Germany, Japan, and China.
Chroma Technology built its current facility in Rockingham Vermont (the municipality that includes Bellows Falls) in 2003, with a view to energy efficiency and conservation. The investments made in energy efficiency for the new facility helped save the company 475,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity and 6,000 gallons of propane per year, reducing its carbon emissions by over 75 tons each year from propane savings alone (https://www.chroma.com/company).
Now, Chroma Technology has gone further toward sustainable operation. It partnered with Green Lantern Solar, based in Waterbury, Vermont, to build a solar array near its manufacturing plant. The new array has 1870 solar modules and a capacity of 500 kilowatts, which is enough to provide about 950,000 kWh of electricity per year. The electricity will be sufficient to offset about 800,000 pounds of CO₂ each year. That is the equivalent of taking almost 150 cars off the roads.
“As a Certified Employee-Owned B Corporation Chroma is committed to sustainable and socially responsible business practices,” Chroma Technology CEO Newell Lessell said. “This new solar array will enable us to significantly reduce our carbon footprint even as our business continues to grow.”
The new array will reduce the energy expenses for Chroma Technology by about a third. The company is still considering options for reducing its carbon footprint further, and it is also a growing business with a worldwide presence, so we can expect more progress from it in the future.
“This array will reduce Chroma’s operating expenses and have a real impact on its sustainability goals,” said Weston Martin, Green Lantern Solar’s Director of Sustainable Partnerships. “We’re gratified to work with companies like Chroma who are taking real steps to demonstrate how costs savings and a clean energy future can be achieved.”
The current array is operated under a virtual net-metering system. It was developed and built by Green Lantern Solar, which will own and continue to operate it. The Chroma Technology array is just the latest project from Green Lantern Solar, which has already developed over 56 megawatts of solar projects in Vermont. Green Lantern Solar offers turn-key commercial solar projects for educational, healthcare, and government organizations. It has specialized in development at difficult sites such as brownfields, landfills, quarries, and other challenging properties. Its services include development, financing, construction, operations, maintenance, and asset management.