Project Focus: Borrego Solar, Reading Electric bring 5MW to Southeastern Pennsylvania

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Borrego Solar Systems has announced a partnership with Reading Electric of Reading, PA to install more than 5MW of solar energy at 32 different local businesses across Southeastern Pennsylvania.

To help offset the US$30 million combined cost of the 30 companies’ solar energy systems, Borrego Solar and Reading Electric have secured more than US$7.5 million in grant awards through the PA Sunshine Grant, a US$100 million state fund administered by the PA Department of Environmental Protection to help businesses and residents fund solar energy and thermal systems. The grants awarded to these 32 customers represent approximately 25% of the solar energy grants awarded to businesses to date through the PA Sunshine program.

Borrego Solar and Reading Electric also anticipate funding from the Federal Renewable Energy Grant Program of over US$9 million. Borrego Solar has offered to “carry” both the PA Sunshine and Federal Grant portions of these projects’ costs until they are received. Customers are responsible for providing funds only for the non-grant portion of their project. This is usually approximately 45-55% of the total project cost.

For Reading Electric’s own facility, Borrego Solar and Reading Electric have secured a US$281,075 grant for a 145kW rooftop and ground mounted solar system. An estimated US$251,307 is also expected to come from the Federal Renewable Energy Grant Program. The system will generate approximately half of the company’s energy consumption. The system will be installed by the Borrego Solar-Reading Electric team and is projected to reduce Reading Electric’s energy costs by more than US$700,000 over its lifetime.

“For more than 50 years, Reading Electric has prided itself on offering the most cost-effective technology innovations and electrical contracting services to customers across Southeastern Pennsylvania. We are excited to incorporate solar into our services portfolio and lead by example by installing our own solar energy system,” said Jim Kurtz, general manager at Reading Electric.

“Solar represents a tremendously attractive alternative or compliment to traditional electricity, especially as caps on electricity rates expire-some as early as January 2010-and energy prices throughout the state begin to rise. Through our partnership with Borrego Solar, we look forward to helping businesses realize the benefits of solar energy,” he continued.

“Pennsylvania is emerging as a national leader in solar energy thanks to the progressive PA Sunshine Grant and other state-sponsored incentive programs,” said Alex Sarly, Mid-Atlantic regional business development manager at Borrego Solar. “We are excited to partner with Reading Electric, as our solar expertise aligns nicely with Reading’s established regional presence as a leading electromechanical equipment and services supplier. Together, we plan to accelerate the adoption of solar energy across Southeastern Pennsylvania and help local businesses take advantage of the long-term financial and environmental benefits of clean, renewable solar power.”

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