BERLIN — Thanks to a partnership with Ultra Solar & Wind Solutions, a local publishing company is now utilizing solar power to operate its office.
Located on Old Ocean City Boulevard in Berlin, The Dispatch’s new solar system, which went online Dec. 9 after two months of financial, feasibility and engineering studies, consists of 58 panels and four inverters and will produce approximately 23,000 kWh of energy annually, supplying an estimated 103% of annual electric use for the Berlin-based newspaper. The panels cover 1,018 square feet of space on the office’s roof.
The Dispatch Publisher Steve Green said the solar project makes tremendous environmental sense, as the system will avoid over 463 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from the office’s footprint over its useful lifespan. However, he said it was the economic incentives that made it financially feasible for his small business.
With the project going online before the end of the calendar year, the company will receive a 30% federal tax credit through the Commercial Clean Energy Grant Program as well as 10 years of Maryland tax credit as well as depreciation. These credits helped make the $58,000 project possible.
“It’s a reinvestment in our property and the energy savings will provide a significant boost to our cash flow,” said Green. “This is something we have been thinking about for several years, and the tax credits make it appealing. It’s exciting to know we are now operating our business off the power we are generating. It’s now possible to see how much energy we are generating at any given time from my cell phone through an app.”
Green worked on the project with Ultra co-owners Michael Panco and Brandon Caprarola as well as Bryan Russo, who serves as news editor at The Dispatch while also wearing the hat of a sales consultant for Ultra, which is a SunPower advanced certified residential and commercial dealer.
The Ultra team handled every step of the process, including system design, installation and maintenance as well as permitting and rebates processing. SunPower carefully selects dealers based on exceptional customer service, premier system design and installation practices, and expert solar knowledge and leadership. SunPower dealers also complete regular, in-depth training on SunPower products and services ensuring SunPower systems provide lasting value to customers.
“We tell our customers that not all solar is created equal, and make sure they know that SunPower products are the most efficient and reliable solar solutions on the market today,” said Panco and Caprarola. “The high quality SunPower technology combined with Ultra’s reputation for excellent craftsmanship and customer service convinced The Dispatch to select us to install a SunPower system on the roof of the newspaper office last month. As a result, the Sunpower solar project, The Dispatch is expected to save on electricity bills over the next 12 months and savings will grow as electric utility rates are expected to rise at 3.78% a year.”
SunPower Corporation Commercial Regional Sales Manager Jim Brown said this most recent project marks the first commercial SunPower solar project for Ultra on the shore.
“SunPower is very excited to partner with Ultra Solar & Wind Solutions LLC as an authorized dealer partner for SunPower systems in commercial applications in the greater Delmarva market,” said Brown. “The Dispatch project is just the beginning of a bright future for Ultra Solar’s commercial projects whereby any business may realize energy benefits by choosing a commercial SunPower system. SunPower has been manufacturing and delivering reliable solar systems for 30 years and we’re proud to offer this leading photovoltaic technology to the Delmarva commercial market through Ultra Solar & Wind.”