News & Press

Sandri Completes Installation of 49kW Solar Array at Greenfield Headquarters


Greenfield, MA—April 26th 2011—Sandri announces the completion of a 49 kilowatt photovoltaic array installation at their headquarters on Chapman Street. The family owned and operated energy company estimates that the solar electric system will generate 35%  percent of the building’s overall power demand. The PV array is ground-mounted and located adjacent to the Sandri corporate office. It’s observable from the road and the parking lot to visitors and passers-by.

 “We wanted to have the system installed on the ground for a few reasons,” explains Sandri’s President Tim Van Epps. “The first was practical. Our engineers determined we would have to structurally reinforce our roof to support a system this size.”  The 49kW project required 180 solar panels to be installed. “We also wanted to be able to use it as a working demonstration display that we could utilize to educate our customers, other visitors, and community members about renewable energy technology.”  Visitors can also view a large screen in the company lobby that displays live system data as well as information about the solar technology, how it works, and the installation process. Customers are also able to walk up and see the panels outside because they are located on the ground. “We really want people to stop by to check it out,” said Van Epps.

 The array uses sunlight to create electrical DC power, which is then converted to AC by an inverter. Sandri made the decision to invest in a solar electric system for reasons beyond education, most notably the overhead savings they will realize on their electric bill. “We are net-metering which basically means that the power produced by the panels is tied to the electrical grid through the inverter—in this case Western Massachusetts Electric Company (WMECO),” said Van Epps. “If we ever produce more energy than we are using then our electric meter actually spins backwards.”

Sandri partnered with Collins Electric out of Chicopee, MA on the design and installation of the project. Sandri’s renewable energy division is now designing and installing similar residential and commercial PV systems throughout southern New England.

Sandri’s solar array was funded in part by a grant from Commonwealth Solar Stimulus Rebate Program. This program is a part of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s (MassCEC) Clean Energy initiative, and it is a part of the effort to reach Governor Patrick's goal of 250 megawatts (MW) of solar power installed by 2017.

"Sandri’s solar array is a great example of the kinds of commercial renewable energy projects that have been developed under the Commonwealth Solar Stimulus Rebate program," said MassCEC Executive Director Patrick Cloney.  "It is installations like this one that are making Massachusetts a leader in renewable energy and helping us all move towards a cleaner energy future."

The Sandri organization has invested heavily in the renewable energy sector in the past 12 months with the acquisition of Propell Energy (a commercial wood pellet boiler installation and bulk pellet distribution company) and Deerfield Valley Heating and Cooling (Geothermal and solar installer). In March of 2010, the Company was awarded a $3.2MM grant by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources to install numerous institutional, commercial and residential renewable energy systems. In the October of 2010, they signed exclusive distribution agreements with two premier solar component manufacturers: Fluitecnik, Inc. (photovoltaic panels) and Ingeteam, Inc. (inverters).  They used both these products in their 49kW photovoltaic array.

“I commend Sandri on making such a significant investment in renewable energy technology,” said William Martin, Mayor of Greenfield. “We are making great strides to embrace and employ energy efficiency and renewable energy in our public policy here in Greenfield,” he said. Greenfield was designated as one of the first Green Community’s in the state in 2010. “Sandri’s installation is located in a visible area and it is a great example of how the private sector in Greenfield is adopting clean energy in meaningful and significant ways,” he said.

About Sandri