Architectural Grille and Solar Energy Systems, both of Brooklyn, N.Y., have kicked off the construction of a roof-mounted 312-kilowatt solar system. Designed to produce 365,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually, the solar array will offset a majority of the company’s kWh consumption and reduce the factory’s carbon footprint by 258 metric tons of CO2 annually, which is roughly equivalent to the emissions produced by burning 30,000 gallons of gas per year.
Despite sustaining damages from Hurricane Sandy exceeding $7 million—with most of it exempt from coverage by insurance—Architectural Grille made plans to move forward on the solar project. Through hard work from management and staff alike, Architectural Grille replaced vital machinery and made a commitment to rebuild and grow the company through cost savings and sustainable practices, including the installation of solar panels.
“I’m excited to collaborate with Solar Energy Systems on an ecofriendly project that not only will save the company a significant amount of money, but also contribute to a clean environment in the manufacturing hub of Gowanus, while utilizing wasted space on the rooftop,” said Anthony J. Giumenta, the president of the company. “Architectural Grille is committed to reducing our consumption of energy and resources, and we are proud to be bringing our company into the next generation of environmentally friendly and sustainable manufacturing.”
The project was made possible with funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) through Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun initiative.
“I am pleased to see that, despite suffering substantial damage from Superstorm Sandy, Architectural Grille had the foresight to recognize the value of a large-scale solar power system,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO, NYSERDA. “Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun initiative is providing benefits to businesses throughout the state, from helping companies reduce expenses and stimulating economic activity to protecting the environment and growing our clean-energy resources. Architectural Grille is just one example of how the state’s investment in solar is making a difference.”
With incentives through the NYSERDA Competitive PV Program, manufacturers, universities, office buildings, municipalities, and other entities can take advantage of funding to help invest in large-scale solar power.
The solar array for Architectural Grille is comprised of 1,078 Trina panels and spans the majority of approximately 80,000 sq ft of available roof space. Interior electrical work began in May 2013, with rooftop panel installation completed in early September 2013. Architectural Grille chose the Brooklyn-based company Solar Energy Systems (SES) to design and install the array.
Architectural Grille is a family owned and operated business that began in 1945. Together with both of his sons, Anthony J. Giumenta runs a company that is dedicated to quality. The firm makes metalwork for use in air-conditioning, heating, ventilation, decorative screening, and artwork. Sectors serviced include, but are not limited to, construction, fabrication, and interior design. Projects span all sizes, from small home renovations to large-scale government jobs.
Architectural Grille is devoted not only to craftsmanship but also environmental awareness. The company utilizes recycled raw materials for specific projects and has now taken its environmental dedication to the next level with the decision to go solar.
Founded in 1998 by David Buckner, SES installs and services commercial solar sites throughout the New York Tristate region, including Upstate New York. SES has installed over 16 megawatts of solar to date. Federal and state incentives, such as those listed above, enable SES to realize solar projects at competitive rates, helping companies to achieve environmental standards through solid investments that pay off in about three years.
Architectural Grille’s array will produce electricity for more than 25 years and provide free electricity long after the initial outlay has been recouped.
— Solar Builder magazine