Click here for a short time lapse video of this installation. alpha-rho

Cutting the ribbon on a birthday present is fun. Cutting the ribbon on a 745-panel solar energy system is mind-boggling, financially beneficial, and really fun.

That’s what New England Clean Energy customer David Tall — president of Alpha Rho — did this morning on the roof of Alpha Rho’s 36,000-sq.-ft. facility. Alongside Fitchburg Mayor Stephen DiNatale, Massachusetts Representative Stephan Hay (D-Fitchburg), and Clean Energy CEO Jim Elkind, David sliced through a big red ribbon “wrapping” the plastics manufacturing company’s new 238.4-kilowatt solar energy system.


New England Clean Energy CEO Jim Elkind, Fitchburg Mayor Stephen DiNatale, Alpha Rho President David Tall, Clean Energy Sales Director Doug McCartney, and Clean Energy VP of Installation Jonathan Williams, at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Just how valuable is the “package” unwrapped today? The renewable energy system is producing more than 80 percent of the power needed to run the company’s manufacturing, warehousing and administrative operations.That’s a lot of value. And, in addition to electric bill savings, the system will provide Alpha Rho with a new revenue stream from the sale of Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs).

If you’re a small business owner thinking, “Sure, sounds great, but I don’t have the capital to invest,” keep reading.

To finance the solar, Alpha Rho opted for a 7-year traditional lease from LFC Capital, Inc., which eliminated any upfront capital investment. To pay for the solar, the company makes 100% tax-deductible fixed monthly payments.

David sums it up this way: “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, local installer, made the whole process very easy.” 

The dignitaries who attended the ribbon-cutting had this take on solar in Massachusetts:

Mayor DiNatale: “I believe this is a complete win for Alpha Rho. As a legislator, and now as Mayor of Fitchburg, I’ve seen the stranglehold that utility companies have on business and economic growth in this city and throughout this region. I will continue to encourage my friends and former colleagues to once again lift the solar net metering cap. Caps must be lifted and incentives continued in order to strengthen our solar industry. I want to see more solar companies come to this region of the state and base their projects in Fitchburg.”

Representative Hay: “I hope that Alpha Rho’s decision to go solar will be an example that encourages other companies to explore their energy options. The Massachusetts Legislature by passing the recent ‘energy diversity bill’ showed they think solar energy is a viable option for businesses and residents of the Commonwealth.”

And, from Senator Jennifer L. Flanagan (D-Leominster) who was unable to attend the ceremony but is a big solar supporter: “Massachusetts continues to make strides in assisting businesses who wish to go green. Alpha Rho is proof that businesses and the state can partner to go solar at a benefit to them, society, and the environment.”

Speaking of the environment, Alpha Rho’s system is reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the air by 412,800 pounds per year, which is equivalent to taking 39 cars off the road or planting almost 150 acres of trees.

Family-run Alpha Rho was founded by David Tall’s father in his basement, 50 years ago. Today, David demonstrated an equally impressive vision — one that will benefit the company for decades.


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