December 10, 2009 was a frigid day in Palatine, IL, a town not unfamiliar with seemingly Artic-type chill. Inside the North American headquarters of Schneider Electric, however, the atmosphere was warm and exciting. That's because this recognized leader in global energy management was flipping the switch on the largest solar array installation in Illinois history—something that will reduce the corporate facility's own electric usage by an estimated 2-3% annually.
According to Chris Curtis, CEO of Schneider Electric's Building and Power North America business, the new installation showcases how the use of energy efficient and renewable solutions together play key roles in solving the energy dilemma. "We hope to serve as an inspiration and resource for other businesses as the demand for sustainable energy continues to grow."
This new solar array is part of the corporation's commitment to help people make the most of their energy. The photovoltaic (PV) solar project includes a special "flower" type mounting system, consisting of 232 modules with 29 pole supports, solar panels, Schneider Electric Xantrex inverter, Schneider Electric metering and monitoring equipment and all the electric wiring needed to harness the power. The PV system has a rated output of 60.5 kW, which will vary according to sun angle, time of year and weather conditions—and is designed to withstand high winds and snow. An educational "Green display" using the company's PowerLogic monitoring and metering systems also is part of the installation. Located inside the facility, it educates users and visitors by displaying real time information about current energy generated, usage, and the amount of CO2 emissions reduction.
Valued at $750,000, this PV installation qualified for a 30% federal tax credit, an accelerated federal depreciation schedule (MACRS), a state incentive of $3.25 per DC watt and the sale of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). The system has an expected life of 40 years, and Schneider Electric estimates a 10-year payback.
"Not only will this system offset power generation at our headquarters, it will build on our history of working with large scale PV systems," said Curtis. "Our goal is to demonstrate to Schneider Electric customers our ability to safely control, meter and transform DC power using the inverter produced by our Renewable Energies division and PMO metering division."
Westcott Distribution Inc.
New York, NY
Viability, an economic and environmental consulting firm, is now offering ViAlign, an information subscription service that delivers up-to-date communication on relevant grants, incentives, legislation and technologies for companies pursuing renewable energy or energy-efficiency projects. The service monitors, tracks and then summarizes and communicates available energy incentive opportunities. Subscribers will have access to grant and incentive requirements and availability at federal, state and local levels. Other considerations that impact energy incentives, such as legislation and policy interpretations, will also be monitored and incorporated into recommendations. Clients can choose a subject—such as wind or geothermal—and a state for monitoring, and Viability will offer its custom suggestions. The program’s resources begin with research capabilities and extend to engineering and carbon management based on the specific needs, direction and action of the client.
Siemens Energy, Inc., and Materials Processing Corp. have partnered to provide a secure, green recycling solution for the electric utility industry. The service will help utilities dispose of end-of-life electronic components in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. It will also assist them in achieving compliance with the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s Cyber Infrastructure Protection standards.
The service allows electronic components, such as computers for supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and energy management systems (EMS), remote terminal units (RTUs), protective relays and meters, to be picked up at the utility’s site where a quick destruction is performed and witnessed by a utility representative. Siemens collects the equipment and transports it to MPC’s recycling center where the equipment is disassembled, sorted, shredded and recycled. The process is completed when all possible minerals are recovered. The goal of the service is to reduce what finds its way into landfills, as well as to keep sensitive information out of the hands of computer hackers.
Siemens Energy, Inc. and Materials Processing Corp.