A little history about one of our founders
"Our goal is to run a manufacturing facility on solar power; to not use ANY fossil fuels”, Cal Couillard
One of our founder’s became obsessed with learning more about solar energy when he installed a one-quarter-megawatt solar power system atop its manufacturing facility, reducing the contribution to greenhouse gas emissions while contributing carbon-free energy to the electrical power grid. “Government and business leaders say that solar power is too expensive or unreliable to power manufacturing,” President and Design Engineer Cal Couillard said. “But we were willing to show that it can be done. We think we are in a new industrial evolution. In the 1900’s America began powering industries, homes, trucks, cars – everything– with fossil fuel. In the next 20 to 30 years, we believe the course will change to use renewable energy.”
COMPONEX SOLAR POWER DESIGN
Six hundred and ninety-seven 340-watt solar panels are installed on the Componex manufacturing facility’s south-facing five-degree-angled roof. Its rated capacity is 237 kilowatts of direct current. The contract for this system was awarded to Convergence Energy, a resource firm that provides solar energy consultation, system design, construction and maintenance services to businesses and governments throughout the Midwest. Arch Electric installed the system.
Cal utilized the Solar Investment Tax Credit, which offers a 30 percent tax credit for residential and commercial properties that use solar energy. Created in 2005 under the Energy Policy Act, the tax credit has helped annual solar installation grow by over 1,600 percent nationwide. Convergence Energy Vice President of Business Development Steve Johnson says:
“Componex is at the forefront of renewable energy. There’s obvious social and environmental benefits, but currently the financial returns are pretty strong.”
MAKING THE CHANGE
An on-site solar energy system cuts reliance on power imports from the grid, and is a great solution for many companies that are seeking to cut their electricity bills. What’s more, any surplus can be sold to the electrical power grid to boost revenues. Among the long-term benefits businesses can expect from producing their own energy are lower operating costs. This can have a tremendous impact on the bottom line for energy-intensive businesses such as manufacturers.
“Cal Couillard is really a forward thinker as it relates to renewables,” Johnson said. “It’s not easy to implement a big change. Energy has been the same for 100 years, and disruptive technology like solar causes great anxiety at the highest levels of corporate America.” Componex strives to innovate. “Installing the solar power system shows that manufacturers can produce quality products while maintaining sound environmental principles” according to Couillard. He asserts that,
“I want to be able to show other manufacturers that the belief that you can’t run a company off the sun is a myth. It is a myth that we have to continue burning fossil fuels. And we proved it. Componex’ roof is producing its own electricity directly from the sun. It makes good financial sense.”