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December 14, 2023

Case Study: Plastics Manufacturer Saves $175k by Year One

Illinois Manufacturing Commercial Solar Case Study

Battavia, IL plastics manufacturing facility offsets 15% of usage saving $175k a Year

When it comes to providing high quality resin products for national retailers, everything from plastic snow shovels to outdoor storage, the electricity required to create these products and run these plants year around results in large energy costs.

Through Commercial-Solar.org we notified Suncast of their potential to save hundred of thousands dollars in operating costs a year through solar panels. Intrigued by our messaging, we introduced Suncast to our Illinois vetted partner so they could begin educating the 180 million year company about going solar. Nearly a year later, Solar One installed a state of the art for a commercial solar system that would save Suncast over $175,000 a year in annual operating costs and realize positive cashflow by year one.

Plastics Manufacturing Commercial Solar Project Overview

  • Project: Plastics and Resin Manufacturing Facility
  • Location: Batavia, IL, Kane County
  • System Size: 1.623 mW
  • Products Used: REC Panels, SolarEdge Inverters
  • Time to Complete: 6 Months
  • Year One Savings: $175,000
  • Lifetime Savings: ~$5,250,000

Why Energy Cost Reduction with Renewables Matter in Plastics Manufacturing and Resin Facilities 

Commercial solar projects are much more complicated than a residential home. Failing to execute a megawatt solar project for a 180 million a year company can end a commercial solar company. These projects demand expert electricians to build complex arrays and inverter systems customized for the client’s utility, climate, roof and operating needs.

Moreover, commercial solar systems of this size are essential in assuring a maximized solar production and efficiency through the year and its lifetime to expedite return on investment for the client. Not just anyone can install multiple megawatt array for complex manufacturing facilities.

The High-Demand Environment of Plastic Production

When you’re supplying national retailers like Home Depot and Walmart with high quality resin products from outdoor patio furniture, to tools, sheds, and the alike, there is a massive responsibility to provide products year around and on-time for retailers across the country and globe. Suncast runs multiple year around manufacturing facilities racking up a massive electric bill with their local energy utility Batavia the City. Most all manufacturing continues to rely on fossil fuel energy sources. The traditional large upfront capital to invest in a solar system has dissuaded many from transition to renewable energy until recently.

Thanks to federal and state subsidies, solar equipment efficiency and lifetime improvements, and creative financial modeling by companies like Solar One, more and more businesses have been making the investment to go solar.

High-Performance Panel & Inverter Systems for Manufacturing

Our team specializes in starting conversations with manufacturing facility CFO’s and executives hungry for cost reduction. By partnering with experienced teams like Solar One, they provide the client the most modern and productive solar panel despite the drastic supply chain woes during 2020 and 2021. Solar One installed 100 REC panels paired with Solar Edge inverter systems.

The Challenge: Utility Red Tape, Equipment Supply Chain Woes + Winter in Illinois

The City of Batavia had to be worked with directly to Orchestrate the 1.65 megawatt solar project. Thanks to excellent communication with the Solar One, team, the 3 parties were able to secure permitting for the solar project in 4 months.

During 2020 and 2021 many solar companies could not guarantee specific panels and inverters at a said date. There was a supply chain shortage and complications that left many without the available product to build timely installations. Solar One prepared a head of time purchasing panels and were able to install the system within months.

Winter in Illinois presented extremely uncomfortably cold weather to conduct solar installations in, however the electricians at Solar One pushed through to get the project completed.

Commercial Solar Marketing Experts Add Value in Manufacturing Spaces

By initiating conversations by educating manufacturing companies their potential to save thousands in electricity costs with highly experienced and educated commercial solar partners, we were able to procure a massive solar array that will offset over 10 tons of carbon a year through the sun and provide incredible return on investments for both parties.

Installation by a Professional Team: A Non-Negotiable Requirement 

My colleague at Solar One noted how failure or mistakes in procuring a project of this size could end a commercial solar company for good, due to a faulty repudiation in providing a perfect product. In any national manufacturing setting, a bullet proof solar energy system designed for complex system needs  is a must have, not a luxury.

In 6 months, Solar One Illinois procured and installed the Batavia facility’s roof in a highly efficient, energy producing and cost reducing solar array on one of their facilities roofs.

Suncast were so please with the system’s production an cost savings, they agreed to build two more +1 megawatt projects with Solar One. One on a warehouse, another for their corporate headquarters.

If you need help starting conversations with facilities looking for cost reduction or a facility interested in commercial solar in Illinois, contact us at Commercial-Solar.org to be connected with the right commercial solar installation partner.