STRATFORD, Connecticut - Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a world leader in helicopter design, manufacture and service, and Soltage, a leading U.S. renewable energy provider, today celebrated the activation of Sikorsky’s first solar photovoltaic system as part of its clean energy program. Sikorsky is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).
The Solar PowerStation – constructed, owned and operated by Soltage – consists of 450 roof-mounted solar modules that combined will generate 106,250 kilowatt hours annually of clean renewable energy. The panels are located on the roof of the new engineering building at Sikorsky’s campus in Stratford. Through an innovative business approach, Soltage funds all of the capital for the project and Sikorsky purchases the electricity generated from the system at a negotiated fixed rate.
The solar system generates an environmental benefit that equates to removing 72,675 lbs. of carbon dioxide, 53 lbs. of nitrogen oxide, and 31lbs. of sulfur dioxide from the environment every year of operation, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Connecticut electricity profile.
“This was an easy decision for us because the environmental and financial benefits are so compelling,” said Sikorsky President Jeffrey P. Pino. “For the same reasons, we are constructing a co-generation plant on-site that will power our facility here while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. These projects demonstrate how environmental responsibility and sound business management go hand in hand.”
“Sikorsky is not only a leader in national defense and part of the backbone of the defense industry, but also a great neighbor to the community here. Reducing our energy costs is good for our economy, good for the environment, and good for our state’s competitiveness,” said Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, who attended the dedication. “I am very proud to be here today to watch these panels come to life, and to be here at the moment when present innovation in our state begins to shape a cleaner, smarter, more energy efficient future.”
David Eherts, vice president of Environment, Health & Safety and Chief Safety Officer for Sikorsky, said, “We’re proud to team with Soltage under a model that can be applied to our other facilities as we further our environmental efficiency goals. By working with Soltage, we’re able to lock in competitive electric rates for our facility and stabilize costs while supporting renewable energy. We selected Soltage because of their innovative approach and ability to work within Sikorsky’s stringent safety, security and engineering requirements.”
The SoltageTM PowerStation was supported in part by a $253,515 grant from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund that covered approximately 40 percent of Soltage’s equipment costs.
“While energy risks are being highlighted on a national and global scale, we’re delighted to provide a financial and engineering approach that matched with Sikorsky’s environmental and continuous improvement leadership,” said Soltage Chief Operating Officer and co-founder Vanessa Stewart. “We look forward to continuing to support Sikorsky as it embarks on its renewable energy strategy.”
Prior to the solar installation, Sikorsky had reduced energy consumption in its factories and incorporated energy-saving innovations into its manufacturing processes. “For Sikorsky, environmental management and sustainability are a multi-pronged strategy to reduce our energy consumption and contribute to cleaner energy generation sources. None of it can be done in isolation,” said Robert J. Araujo, Sikorsky Manager for Sustainable Development and Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S).
United Technologies has a disciplined and proven approach to environmental responsibility that includes greenhouse gas reduction and EH&S goals that extend to suppliers as well. The benefits include energy cost savings, manufacturing process improvements and maintenance savings – all of which contribute to UTC's ability to compete in today's global market.
Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Conn., is a world leader in aircraft design, manufacture and service. United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Conn., provides a broad range of high-technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries.
Soltage, LLC is a full service renewable energy company that develops, finances, and operates solar energy stations on client structures across the USA. Using proven technology and on-site generation, Soltage supplies a significant portion of client long-term energy demand at a cost below retail rates. Soltage is headquartered in New Jersey.