As one of the largest manufacturers of corrugated shipping containers in the United States, President Container Group, Inc. (PCG) consumes a large amount of electricity. With retail electricity rates on the rise across the US, especially in the Northeast, PCG was experiencing the high cost of success. As they were growing as a company, so were their electricity expenses—at about a rate of 5% a year—and so, they looked to GE for a solution.
The average solar energy system can last for more than 20 years, with minimal maintenance required and zero fuel costs, making it an ideal choice for a rapidly-expanding company like PCG. The 2MW photovoltaic system was installed in Fall 2015 and is one of the largest privately-owned solar systems in the state of New York. “Working with GE, we saw an opportunity to take control of our energy future in a way that was both economic and sustainable,” said Larry Grossbard, general manager of President Container Group.
For PCG, GE configured a “fixed-tilt” ground mounted system to provide the highest value and performance certainty over the anticipated 25 year life of the system. The solar array will produce roughly 2,500,000 kWhs annually, offsetting 25% of the company’s energy needs, and the energy savings will continue to increase over time as retail electricity rates rise across America. Best of all, PCG will reduce its carbon footprint, as the solar system’s annual production is expected to avoid 1,723 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, the equivalent of taking 8,444 cars off the road over the system’s total operating life.
“This marks the first big win for GE moving into the commercial industrial space for the solar sector. We feel that this is an incredible growth opportunity,” said Erik Schiemann, GM of the Solar product line. “Working with President Container absolutely has been the model that we’d like to continue forward as we move our business into the next growth stage.”
While working with PCG, GE conducted multiple site visits to walk the proposed installation area with engineers and installer sub-contractors. During these visits and with the data gathered from the property, GE evaluated the solar resource potential at the site, configured the system, and procured best-in-class equipment to precisely meet PCG’s needs. Additionally, GE supported PCG during the permitting, local incentive, and utility application processes, helping out from project inception to completion.
GE brings the advantage of experience with utilities, plus engineering, sourcing, and development expertise so that customers can gain the benefits of solar energy savings while continuing to focus on their current business operations. “We could not have chosen a more knowledgeable and experienced partner for this endeavor,” remarked Grossbard. Together with GE, PCG has not only reduced and stabilized their energy costs, but taken the first steps toward creating a greener world.