Crystal Windows Installs Rooftop Solar Panel System at New York Factory
Crystal Window & Door Systems has completed installation of an almost 1 MW solar electricity generation system on the rooftop of its headquarters and main production facility in Queens, New York. The system includes over 2,300 solar panels and is expected to generate nearly one million kW-h annually, offsetting about 35 percent of the manufacturer’s overall electricity needs.
“Our New York headquarters and factory building has over 100,000 square feet of unshaded usable roof space, so solar panels just made sense,” says Thomas Chen, chairman and founder of Crystal Windows. “The new solar electricity generation system is a perfect complement to Crystal’s emphasis on product energy efficiency. Just as we are committed to providing state-of-the-art energy efficient products for home and building owners, we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint here in New York City and making our production facility as energy efficient as possible.” Crystal also utilizes sustainable hydro power for much of its electricity supply.
According to the U.S. EPA, replacing one million kW-h annually with solar energy eliminates over 1.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide per year from the atmosphere. That is the approximate equivalent of eliminating the greenhouse gas emissions from over ¾ million pounds of coal burned per year or annually removing 154 passenger vehicles from the road or by replacing 26,860 incandescent lamps with LEDs.
Crystal partnered on a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Amergy Solar, a New York-New Jersey regional provider of solar energy generation systems for commercial and residential properties. With a PPA, the solar system provider owns and maintains the solar generation equipment installed on the customer’s premises while the customer simply purchases the electricity generated at a significant discount over rates from the local utility.
Crystal’s solar energy generation system was several months in design and construction. To determine the appropriate scale of the system, Crystal’s energy usage patterns, available roof space and roof structure were reviewed. Then the interface between Crystal’s existing electric system within the building and Con Edison’s electricity distribution system was upgraded, the roof surface was renovated, permits for the installation were secured and required inspections completed.
A custom racking and bedding system was designed and fabricated for Crystal’s solar panels, with a 10-degree slope and a non-roof-penetrating connection system. The entire system comprises 2,320 solar panels, associated racks and 18 electrical power inverters.