General Electric breaks ground on 2-MW solar project in New York

General Electric’s (NYSE: GE) renewable energy business announced May 29 that it will supply President Container Group (PCG), a manufacturer of corrugated shipping containers and point-of-purchase displays, with a new 2-MW ground-mounted solar installation outside its factory in Middletown, N.Y.

The GE solar solution is expected to provide approximately 25% of PCG’s future energy needs. The facility will become the first industrial-scale solar project in Orange County and is fully qualified under the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority‘s (NYSERDA) NY-Sun Incentive Program, which helps reduce the costs of installing solar electric systems across New York State.

“Our company is growing, and our electricity costs were rising by about five percent a year as we expanded,” explains Larry Grossbard, general manager of President Container Group, Inc. “Working with GE, we saw an opportunity to take control of our energy future in a way that was both economic and sustainable.”

As part of the agreement, GE is providing PCG a solar solution consisting of equipment, site engineering, construction and installation, commissioning, spare parts, and operations and maintenance support for seven years. The GE team also supported President Container Group during its application process with NYSERDA, through local zoning and permitting approvals with the town of Wallkill, N.Y., and throughout the utility interconnection and groundwater studies.

“This deal marks the first example where GE is offering a fully integrated approach in the solar space,” said Erik Schiemann, general manager of GE’s solar product line. “By acting as both a developer and equipment solution provider, we’re making it easier for commercial and industrial companies like President Container to invest in solar power.”

A groundbreaking ceremony was held at the factory on May 29. Commercial operation is expected to begin in the fall of 2015.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.