Today, our CEO Jim Elkind joined state and local dignitaries, and leaders and students from the Perkins human service agency, to cut the ceremonial big red ribbon on the 115.8-kilowatt, 354-panel solar energy system we recently installed on the non-profit organization’s classroom building.
The ribbon wasn’t actually on the solar. And the dignitaries weren’t actually on the roof as we sometimes do with flat roofs. And for good reason. The roof of the building is completely covered in solar panels. It’s a beautiful sight, as this photo shows.
Non-profits generally don’t pay taxes, so they can’t take advantage of the mother of all solar incentives: the 30% federal tax credit. But, solar can still be affordable and offer a major financial benefit to these organizations. Perkins is a perfect example.
The agency, which provides residential and day treatment services to over 500 children and families, will see $580,000 in savings and income over 25 years. The savings will reduce the operating budget, and SREC sales will generate new income. Both improve the bottom line.
Then, there are the less tangible benefits. starting with the use of renewable energy, which demonstrates the values of the organization, and gives its educators a valuable tool in support of their curriculum. The clean energy system will prevent the release of 240,800 pounds of carbon dioxide from fossil-fueled electricity. That’s equivalent to taking more than 22 cars off the road a year, or the carbon absorbed each year by more than 87 acres of trees a year.
Perkins already was getting much of its electricity from shared solar projects. To go the extra mile and install their own system further “greens” their brand, underscores their commitment to innovation and the environment, and makes the non-profit more appealing to stakeholders including donors.
That’s enough of what I’ve got to say. No ribbon-cutting story is complete without comments from the dignitaries. Here they are. And enjoy our 1-minute time-lapse video of the installation at the bottom.
Senator Jennifer Flanagan (D-Leominster):
“Perkins has always been an innovator in educating children, and they have upheld a commitment to their students’ well-being. Now they are taking that commitment a step further by using clean energy to ensure their students will have natural resources for generations to come.”
Representative Harold P. Naughton Jr. (D-Worcester)
“I am always proud and honored to work with the amazing individuals at the Perkins School. Perkins, not only improves the lives of their students, but improves the quality of life for our entire community. This new solar installation is just another step in the right direction and I am proud to take part in it.”
Perkins CEO Michael Ames:
“We are thrilled with the way this project has turned out. Thanks to New England Clean Energy’s engineering and design, the panels fit in perfectly with the architecture of the Janeway Education Center. To have such a good looking installation while also projecting savings of over $580,000 over the next 25 years and having a positive impact on our environment is a big win for Perkins. Together with energy from a community solar project, 90% of Perkins electricity needs will soon be produced by the sun, saving us an average of over $80,0000 annually over the next 25 years!”
New England Clean Energy CEO Jim Elkind:
“Perkins is an inspiration to other non-profit entities. Their emphasis on aesthetics resulted in a solar energy system that is as beautiful as it is functional. The entire team at Perkins was a pleasure to work with. Hopefully, they won’t need us down the road since solar is essentially maintenance-free. But if they do, we’ll be here.”
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