SOUTHINGTON — Nearly 900 solar panels on the roof of Sign Pro’s building are designed to totally power the building with energy to spare.
The panels went live on Nov. 10 and company officials celebrated with state and town leaders Wednesday.
The construction of the new building on Westfield Drive in 2015, complete with a 30-year roof designed for solar panels, was an opportunity for company owner Peter Rappoccio to consider renewable energy.
“We felt this was a significant decision of being a leader in our industry,” he said. “Every organization needs to take part” in energy conservation.
The array can generate 293 kilowatts, enough to power operations with a 30 percent excess margin, allowing for expansion in the future, according to Rappoccio.
The Plantsville business designs and prints signs, displays and vehicle wraps in addition to custom work such as building the Southington Drive-In marquee.
State representatives and senators representing Southington were present at Wednesday’s celebration. They praised the company for its commitment to Connecticut and renewable energy.
Rappoccio touted the environmental and financial benefits of solar. He estimates the panels will save more than $470,000 per year.
Sign Pro used the state’s C-PACE program with the Connecticut Green Bank and was financed by Greenworks, a Darien company. Greenworks marketing manager Adam Moskowitz described C-PACE, run by the Connecticut Green Bank, as a “state program with private capital.”
For zero money up front, Sign Pro was able to get the solar system. The cost is repaid by the company over 15 years as a special tax assessment on the project. Green energy loans are only granted if the savings exceeds the tax assessment payments each year.
Moskowitz said the arrangement also creates jobs for solar panel installers. He hopes other companies will take advantage of the program.
“This really does work,” Moskowitz said.