If you live in or around Hershey, you have undoubtedly heard of Pronio’s Market. The family owned food market has been serving the Hershey community since they opened in 1916. The store is most famous for their quality meats and deli along with the extensive selection of imported Italian specialties.
When Michael Pronio contacted SunLion Energy Systems, he had two main goals in mind: he wanted to save money by lowering his electricity usage and he wanted to show his clientele just how serious he was about making environmentally conscious “Green Energy” solutions a part of his business. With an extremely active meat, deli and kitchen in the market, he uses an enormous amount of hot water and wanted a viable solution to help with that issue. “I wanted to conserve our resources, but on a cost-effective basis. With the incentives that were in place, I was able to do this, and not ‘shoot ourselves in the foot’,” says Mike. He also knew he wanted to work with SunLion Energy because of the company’s strong reputation in the community.
A SunLion Energy representative met with Mike and designed a hybrid system that was perfect for the market’s needs. A solar thermal hot water system was installed on the roof; it is large enough to supply 100% of the hot water for the market. In comparison to a residential hot water system that only uses one tube collector and a single smaller tank, the scope of this project is easy to see. The Pronio’s system includes eight tube collectors with 240 glass evacuated tubes to convert energy from the sun to heating the water in four 119 gallon storage tanks in the basement. The evacuated tube technology of these collectors is the most efficient and cost effective product available on the market today. The glass-lined storage tanks reduce the amount of oil, gas or electric needed to heat them by 85%.
The photovoltaic (PV) system designed for Pronio’s Market was a 24.64kW system. This offset a seemingly small 1% of the market’s annual electricity usage, but even 1% of a very large electric bill is a significant savings. Because of the market’s flat roof, SunLion Energy decided on a ballast-mounted system for the 88 panel array. The ballast system allows for panel tilt to collect the maximum amount of sunlight. Pronio also took advantage of an additional 30% federal tax credit by replacing his roof prior to the installation because it qualified for site preparation. A key concern for Pronio was ensuring his roof was not damaged with the solar install. With our custom ballast mounted system, there were no penetrations to the new roof. The module maximize and monitoring system gives customers access to view the production of the panels and the linear 25-year, 80% production guarantee on the panels is great reassurance for the investment.
What is Mike’s view of the installation now that it’s finished? “SunLion Energy’s professionalism was apparent from sales through the installation,” says Mike. “Everyone was courteous and the appearance of the installation is neat and clean.”
Like Pronio’s Market, businesses can still take advantage of the popular 30% Federal ITC Grant by having a signed contract for solar PV or solar thermal by December 31, 2011. The ITC grant is a cash deposit into the business bank account made after the system is commissioned. Any commercial contracts signed after January 1, 2012, will continue to be eligible for the 30% federal tax credit.