Massachusetts 1.9 MW rooftop solar array deployed on recycling facility


Parallel Products, a consumer products recycling business, recently completed a 1.9 MW rooftop solar array on a 150,000 square foot warehouse in New Bedford, Mass. The solar facility provides power to the company’s recycling center and additional technology development buildings, located on a 130-acre campus in southern Massachusetts.

Parallel Products processes and recycles more than 50,000 tons of glass and 3,700 tons per year of aluminum and plastic containers per year through Massachusetts’s bottle deposit program. Since a bottling facility closed in 2018, the state was left with limited solutions for glass handling, providing Parallel Products an opportunity to open a full-service recycling facility in New Bedford.

The facility has increased solar capacity by 1.9 MW, part of Parallel Products’ goal of deploying 4 MW of solar generation on the 130-acre campus. Located at a former Polaroid camera warehouse, the company repurposed the dormant industrial site, and with the addition of rooftop solar is now generating clean power for consumer recycling.

Parallel’s processing facility features a standing seam metal roof. Local contractor ECS Electric decided to use S-5!’s PVKIT, a direct-attach rail-less solar racking system, to install CSUN solar modules without drilling. The rooftop system uses the PVKIT and S-5-V Mini clamps to secure the solar panels to the metal roof, as well as Solectria inverters.

The S-5-V Mini (vertical) is a clamp solution for most machine-folded seams in vertical orientation.

Image: S-5!, Inc.

Formed in 1979, Parallel Products is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, and in 2016 purchased the 130-acre campus and facility in New Bedford, Mass., with plans to renovate the campus over the coming years. The original Polaroid facility had the capacity of 76 vehicles per day, while Parallel Products expanded the campus to accommodate up to 498 vehicle deliveries per day as a regional recycling facility.

In 2018 the Ardagh Group closed a recycling center in Milford, Mass., leaving the state constrained on consumer recycling options. Rather than send materials out of state, the commonwealth solicited Parallel Products to renovate the New Bedford campus.

Besides glass, plastic and aluminum container recycling, Parallel Products also converts expired and unsold soda beverages and other beverage products into ethyl alcohol or ethanol, which it then processes for use as hand sanitizer and other substances derived from ethyl alcohol.

The company has an internal rail, trucking and logistics business that facilitates regional input and delivery of recycled materials in six states it operates.

In 2018, Parallel Products acquired Beaumont Solar, a New Bedford-based solar EPC business that filed for bankruptcy and subsequently went out of business. Parallel operated Beaumont Solar, and manager Phil Cavallo developed commercial, industrial and municipal solar projects in southern New England.  State filings refer to Parallel Products Solar Energy, LLC as the solar business that was acquired.

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