FREEHOLD, N.J. — Concorde Worldwide Limousines has cut its electricity costs by more than half through the use of solar energy, producing more than 13,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity in June alone.
The solar installations, made by Sun Power and installed by GeoGenix in 2008, span more than 6,041 square-feet on the roof of its 12,000 square-foot facility and are capable of producing up to 115,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. Concorde's relationship with nature is reciprocal: The panels, an investment of $625,000, have prevented over 300,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2), 500 pounds of nitrous oxides (NOx), and 200 pounds of sulfates from being released into the air, which is equal to planting more than 41 acres of trees
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 allows a federal corporate tax credit, known as the Business Energy Investment Tax Credit, for companies that have invested in a renewable source, such as active solar paneling, rather than using natural resources such as gas, oil or coal. The credit allows up to 30% off of tax expenditures for the year with no maximum credit, according to the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency.
Concorde Worldwide's solar installations produce 65% of the company's annual electric consumption.
In addition to the solar panels, which are part of Concorde's "GREEN commitment", the company heats its 5,400 square-foot garage with used motor oil and transmission fluid, saving $2,000 a year in heating costs; changes vehicle oil at the manufacturer-recommended 7,500 miles instead of 5,000 miles, thereby reducing oil consumption by 50%; and has reduced paper consumption by 70% (200,000 sheets of paper), among other eco-friendly practices that reduce pollutants and save the company money.
With these new initiatives, the company has been able to earn Solar Renewable Energy Certificates for every extra 1,000 kilowatt-hours created. According to Clean Energy USA, each SREC is estimated to sell for $700. The SRECs are then sold to electricity producers across New Jersey. Last year, Concorde sold $60,000 worth.
Concorde Limousine Inc. was founded in 1984 by Robert Bellagamba, President & CEO, with just one stretch executive limousine. It has since grown to 53 vehicles, recently adding two Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Vans to its fleet. Concorde Limousine was a 2004 "Operator of The Year" in the Large Fleet division, and changed its name to Concorde Worldwide Limousines in 2005. No one was available for comment when LCT contacted the company and the story will be updated if needed.
Sources: Getsolar.com; NFIB My Business Magazine; Michael Campos, LCT assistant editor