General Electric has had an interesting time with solar power in the past. It’s invested in numerous solar power and photovoltaic companies, including PrimeStar Solar, a thin-film PV manufacturer, whose technology the company ultimately sold to First Solar. Now it appears that the Power & Water division of the international company is ready to re-enter the solar market in the U.S. in another way—as an engineering, procurement and contractor (EPC) provider. The company announced today (May 29) that it is installing a 2 megawatt PV array for President Container Group (PCG) in Middletown, N.Y.
The new array will be ground-mounted and will supply roughly 25 percent of the company’s electric needs once it’s completed later in 2015, according to GE. “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.”
“Our company is growing, and our electricity costs were rising by about five percent a year as we expanded,” explained 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. The GE team worked with us through every part of the process, from the incentive applications and zoning approvals, to the equipment and site engineering, all the way to today’s installation. We’re excited to become a leader in the solar space.”
The new solar array will likely use GE-branded First Solar modules. Under the 2013 IP agreement with the thin-film manufacturer First Solar agreed to provide GE-branded modules to the company. And while the company no longer manufactures PV panels, it still offers a line of inverters for solar and other renewable energy projects, like wind power. Divisions of the company also has invested in other solar companies like Sungevity.
The PCG solar panel array is the first industrial scale solar project in Orange County, New York, according to GE. It qualifies for NYSERDA’s NY-Sun Incentive Program as well. GE provided support for PCG’s application to the solar incentive programs as well as zoning and permitting assistance.Tweet