Herbold USA, a developer of systems and equipment for the recycling of plastics, says that its taking on a number of initiatives to make its Rhode Island headquarters more environmentally friendly. In the fall of 2015, the company purchased a rooftop solar energy system to provide electrical power to its 10,000 square foot facility located in North Smithfield. The system, which consists of 80 panels, takes up about 20% of Herbold’s available roof space and is capable of producing 28,000 KW of clean, reliable, renewable energy.
“We’ve been interested in solar for purely environmental reasons since we built this facility in 2013,” said Herbold President David Lefrancois. “As we looked more closely at the systems available today, we realized that the savings, in terms of energy cost, were dramatic. When we combined the cost reductions with the environmental impacts, going solar was a no brainer.”
Herbold management worked closely with RGS Energy to configure and install the new system. Herbold owns the system so from the day it is activated (expected to be Jan 4, 2016) Herbold’s electric bill will drop to zero. “Based on available state rebates and Federal Tax Credits, we felt that purchasing everything up front made the most sense for our business,” said Lefrancois. “Our estimates show the system will be fully paid for with energy savings in under three years.”
In Rhode Island, there is no provision to sell excess power back to the utility. However, on days when Herbold is generating more power than it is using, its electric meter will literally spin backwards and the utility will “bank” energy credits that the company can use on cloudy days or when they are unable to generate sufficient power for their needs.
Herbold Meckesheim USA, is a subsidiary of Herbold Meckesheim Germany and designs, manufactures and installs size-reduction equipment (shredders, granulators, etc.) and wash-line systems for the plastics industry, specializing in the recycling of industrial and post-consumer plastics.