Alpha Rho: No Upfront Investment
Solar Electric System
Solar powers 80% of the company’s manufacturing, warehousing, and administrative operations. In addition, Alpha Rho benefits from a new revenue stream.
David Tall, President of Alpha Rho, makes business decisions based on cost-benefit analysis, improving efficiency, and balancing those financial considerations with the company’s commitment to the environment and social issues. These principles are critical to the success of his plastic-box manufacturing business, which his father fabricated from the ground-up fifty years ago.
That’s why he used the same criteria to decide whether to manufacture something new and different at his 36,000 sq.-ft. facility in Fitchburg, MA: solar energy.
The analysis offered clear proof that energy does matter, and producing solar energy at the facility would have a positive impact on both the environment and Alpha Rho’s business. Energy is the single largest operating expense after raw materials in the manufacturing sector, and the efficiency of solar energy would defray much of this expense.
Referrals from area businesses prompted Tall to meet with New England Clean Energy. He felt the Hudson, MA-based solar installer had extensive knowledge about solar and a clear vision for his project. Furthermore, “Mark Durenberger really seemed to care about green projects. To him, this is more than just a business putting up solar panels.”
So in 2016, New England Clean Energy installed 745 Canadian Solar 320-watt panels, with SolarEdge optimizers under each panel to maximize production. Alpha Rho financed the project through a 7-year traditional lease with no outlay of capital. Alpha Rho makes 100% tax-deductible, fixed monthly payments, for a low-cost path to ownership at a substantially reduced purchase option price.
“When you consider the benefits I’m getting with no upfront investment, you have to wonder why every business isn’t installing solar. The return on investment is fantastic. And working with New England Clean Energy, an experienced installer, made the whole process very easy,” Tall said.
Solar now produces more than 80% of the power needed to run the company’s manufacturing, warehousing, and administrative operations. In addition, Alpha Rho benefits from a new revenue stream, the sale of Solar Energy Renewable Certificates (SRECs).
Fabricating solar energy fit neatly into Alpha Rho’s best practices business mold, and Tall is looking forward to future rewards. “I am confident that the solar project has many benefits to offer and is an asset to the business and worth undertaking.”