MilliporeSigma, the Life Science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, worked with Microgrid Energy to install a rooftop solar array on its new LEED certifiable facility in Burlington, Massachusetts. The facility was custom-built by The Gutierrez Company for MilliporeSigma and incorporated countless energy efficiency measures.
The 182-kilowatt solar array is another example of the company’s commitment to Corporate Responsibility. “MilliporeSigma takes a holistic approach to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and our operating costs, including a combination of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies” said Chris Famolare, Global Manager of Sustainable Operation at MilliporeSigma.
To maximize the output of limited rooftop space, Microgrid installed 562 Canadian Solar 325-watt MaxPower modules at a 5° tilt which reduces the space required between rows, and minimizes shading. The system is expected to produce over 218 megawatt-hours of electricity annually. This is enough electricity to power 22 homes, and reduces emissions by 57 metric tonnes of CO2 annually.
MilliporeSigma has installed solar at other locations as well, including sites in Bedford and Billerica, Massachusetts; St. Louis, Missouri; Molsheim, France; Bangalore, India and Ciudad de Guatemala.
“We like to find a strong combination of economic, environmental, and social benefits in our projects,” said Jeffrey Whitford, Head of Corporate Responsibility and Branding at MilliporeSigma.
In addition to the 30 percent federal investment tax credit, the project qualified for a production-based incentive through the state of Massachusetts’ Department of Energy Resources (DOER) called the SREC-II Program. Qualifying for the SREC-II Program gives MilliporeSigma the option to offer Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) onto the renewable energy market which the local utility company can leverage in order to meet its compliance targets for the Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard.
“Investing in solar is like buying a power production plant with no fuel costs,” said Steve O’Rourke, Vice President of Business Development at Microgrid Energy. “When you divide the net cost of the solar after incentives into the total warrantied 25-year lifecycle production, you get a levelized cost of solar.” This is akin to purchasing a block of energy up front at a fixed rate, which can help companies mitigate the risk of future energy price increases.
MilliporeSigma continues to explore ways to make its operations more sustainable. For details, see MilliporeSigma’s Approach to Corporate Responsibility.