Federal and State Incentives were key to completing the 700 KW System at Kalustyan Corporation's Plant

Kalustyan Corporation's 100,000-square-foot food processing plant in Union, N.J., is the latest industrial building to "go solar" in New Jersey, announced Adam Putter, president of Solar Roof Development. The Fort Lee, N.J.-based Solar Roof Development completed the installation on behalf of Kalustyan Corporation, an importer and processor of food products from the Middle East and Asia.

The 700-KW Kalustyan Corporation's rooftop installation was completed and in operation at the beginning of January, according to Putter. Federal and state incentives were a key factor in the company's decision-making process.

"The first major factor is our overall contribution to the environment and cutting dependence on foreign oil," said M.J. Bas, Kalustyan Corporation's operations manager. "And from a business standpoint, it is a great way to cut costs and become more efficient internally. The federal grant in particular was a major component - it allows us to receive a grant amounting to 30 percent of the system's total cost within 30 days of completion of the job."

The 30-percent federal renewable energy grant program, Section 1603 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, was set to expire at the end of 2010 but was recently renewed and extended through the end of 2011.

"The important thing for Kalustyan is that the bank accepted the federal grant as a down payment," said Putter. "So, they were able to purchase the entire system without putting any money down. The legislation also makes this project eligible for 100% accelerated depreciation, less half the cash grant, in the first year.

"The Renewable Energy Grant and other incentives have been a major contributor to the 400-percent growth in commercial solar installations in New Jersey since 2008, and this project is another example of that," he said.

Incentives from the State of New Jersey "are extraordinary," said Putter. "They include rebates based on energy-efficiency measures and solar renewable energy certificates [SRECS]. With this particular installation, we estimate the SREC credits to amount to $400,000 in the next year. These credits can be used as a recurring revenue source to help finance projects."

Estimated to be worth about $100,000 of Kalustyan's electricity, the installation covers most of the 100,000-square-foot rooftop of the single-story industrial building.

"We anticipate that there will be significant savings in our utility bill, and very quickly," said Bas. "For many small businesses that have to come up with the finances for projects such as this, the various incentives and the long-term financial benefits are huge. Solar Roof Development was instrumental in guiding us through all of the aspects of this installation."

Solar Roof Development's services include energy audits; evaluation of return on investment; competitive bidding for equipment and installation from a network of providers, including pricing not available to the public; exploration of financing options and tax incentives; and counseling during contract negotiations.

"The combination of federal and NJ incentives available right now are compelling, and the decision to ‘go solar' will never be better than right now," said Putter.

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