Napoli installs 2,900 solar panels at Cheshire facility

As part of ongoing efforts to focus on energy efficiency, Napoli Foods Inc. has installed more than 2,900 solar panels on the roof of its Knotter Drive facility.

The 860-kilowatt system, designed by Pennsylvania-based Dynamic Energy Solutions, is one of the largest roof-mounted systems in the state, according to the Solar Energies Industry Association. It will produce 1,095,000 kilowatt-hours of power. Former Town Councilor and solar activist Tim White said this output level will “double or triple the existing solar capacity in Cheshire.”

“We are thrilled that such a significant portion of our facility’s energy will be supplied by a renewable source. We see our participation in this program as a win-win for our company, the state, and most importantly the environment,” Michael Cipriano, vice president of Napoli Foods, said in a statement released by Dynamic.

Napoli is the third large local business to go solar recently, joining Alexion Pharmaceuticals also on Knotter Drive and Whole Foods Market Distribution Center on East Johnson Avenue, White said.

The system will eliminate 773 metric tons of carbon-dioxide per year, or the emissions quantity released by 161 cars annually, according to the statement.

“Napoli Foods is doing a great thing,” said White. “This is a step in the right direction toward a cleaner, cheaper, more reliable energy future.”

The system costs $2 million, but is partially subsidized through Connecticut Light & Power’s Low and Zero Emissions Renewable Energy Credit Program.

Cipriano said incentive programs encourage green projects, but the system installation is merely a continuation of the company’s focus on energy efficiency, which it has emphasized since relocating from Waterbury in 2007. Napoli has tried to maximize energy efficiency in “almost everything that is electrical in design,” he said, citing forklift charging equipment, motion sensing lighting, and energy efficient lighting fixtures that have recently been replaced by even more efficient fixtures.

Cipriano acknowledges the upfront investment necessary in converting to solar from standard power, but said he sees savings in the long run.

“It makes sense to put ourselves in the position where we don’t have to buy half of our electricity,” from a traditional provider, he said, citing anticipated energy savings. “It’s a good choice and the right thing to do.” (203) 317-2242 Twitter: @JeffGebeau

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