Glass manufacturer pairs its operations with rooftop solar


Specialty glass manufacturer Astraglass announced it has installed a 203.3 kW rooftop solar installation on its Vineland, New Jersey factory rooftop. Astraglass produced scientific and laboratory glassware, precision glass and glass to metal components for OEM applications.

The 484-module system is expected to generate about 40% of the facility’s energy consumption.

The project takes advantage of New Jersey’s Successor Solar Incentive Program (SuSI), which makes Astraglass qualitied to receive $100 per MWh of energy produced by the system for the next 15 years. The system is expected to produce 266 MWh in its first year of operations.

”Manufacturing glass products requires a significant amount of electric consumption on site and solar power is one of the only levers to truly offset that consumption while simultaneously creating a new revenue source for the business,” said Kyle Shroufe, co-founder of Opal Energy Group. “Combined with tax credits and bonus depreciation, Astraglass is forecast to achieve a ROI in just three years.”

Opal Energy installed the project, which made use of bifacial solar modules and SolarEdge power optimizers. SolarEdge’s power optimizers enable each solar module connected in a string to the inverter to operate independently. This means that if one module in the string is shaded and produces less power, other modules on the string will not be negatively impacted. Power optimizers also allow for performance monitoring of each individual module, helping to streamline operations and maintenance.

Opal Energy secured funding for the project from Sunstone Credit, which specializes in helping small-to-medium sized companies finance solar installations.

”Our foremost objective is to make quality investments that ultimately help businesses access the financial and environmental benefits of solar,” says Sunstone Credit co-founder Duncan Hinkle. “Our loans can have terms up to 20 years, and so we put a lot of thought into evaluating the partners and technology we work with.”

Sunstone Credit said the SolarEdge components used in the project helped ensure a reliable investment with Opal Energy.

“The advanced features in this installation give us the confidence that our investment, and that of our customer, is in safe hands,” said Hinkle.

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