The Lenox-based hardware store recently completed a 522-panel PV solar installation. According to Jeff Caligari, president of Caligari’s Hardware, the rooftop panels will generate an output of 143,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, with each panel producing 255 watts of juice. Additionally, 84 panels were installed on the Caligari warehouse in Great Barrington, adding another 27,000 kWh/year of electricity to the mix.
Installation was completed in late February and solar production started up in March. In just the first few weeks, the panels have already generated enough electricity to offset 2.14 tons of CO2 – the equivalent of planting 55 trees.
“It’s a great thing because you’re doing a good thing for the environment,” said Jeff Caligari.
Financing for the $445,000 project came from several sources. Caligari’s will receive a 30 percent tax credit from the federal government, as well as solar renewable energy credits (SRECs), which can be sold on the open market.
Additionally, the Lenox business will get a $2,000 town grant as part of the Solarize Mass program. Lenox was one of 17 towns across the state selected last year to participate in the program, which is designed to help Massachusetts homeowners and businesses owners more easily afford small-scale solar.
Mr. Caligari said that he first became interested in participating in Solarize Mass when he attended a town meeting for business owners last summer. After learning about the program and its pricing options, he started talking to solar installers to get quotes. He decided to go with KRN Solar, and they started installing the panels in December.
For Mr. Caligari, going with solar not only makes environmental sense, but also economic sense. He’s looking at a 3-4 year payback period, and in the meantime he is enjoying the savings on his electric bill. “I won’t have to pay anything for my electricity other than transmission charges and taxes with this system,” he said.
“This is the way we’re gonna be headed in the future, is alternative energy sources.”