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Piramal Glass may benefit from solar

Post Time:Sep 09,2013Classify:Company NewsView:341

PARK HILLS - A new solar array, which could provide at minimum 20 percent of Piramal Glass's power, could be installed on a portion of the tailings site in the industrial park in the near future.


While the idea is still in the discussion phase, per Doe Run Company spokespersons, a solar array could be installed by Microgrid Solar of St. Louis in the near future.


The energy collected by the panels will be directed to a high-capacity battery. That energy could provide 20 to 50 percent of the energy used to power the Piramal furnace on a given day.


Park Hills Director of Economic Development Norm Lucas provided some details on the project.


"Piramal and the Doe Run Company have begun to discuss the possibility of a two-and-one-half megawatt solar array that will provide 20 percent or more of Piramal's energy. Piramal uses that energy for electrical resistance at the bottom end of their furnaces," Lucas said.


Microgrid Solar is a Midwest solar installer, based in St. Louis, offering turnkey solar services for both commercial and residential clients. Some of their clients include the St. Louis Cardinals, the U.S. Army and Anheuser-Busch.


The power collected from the array will be directed to an industrial lead-acid storage battery manufactured with lead from Missouri, likely provided by the Doe Run Company.


"Intelysis will be manufacturing an industrial size battery so the power coming from the solar array will accumulate in the battery and provide a consistent source of energy to Piramal, night or day, cloudy or sunny," Lucas said.


Aside from the use of Doe Run lead in the battery, the company says they also want to show the public how a superfund site can be used as an industrial area, therefore becoming a benefit to the community instead of a barren wasteland. Doe Run could not speculate on many of the details at this time since negotiations are still underway in regards to the project. The company says more information will be forthcoming when and if the details are finalized.


"They want to show how a former superfund site can be put to good use in an industrial park. It makes all kinds of sense for former superfund sites to become industrial sites, because standards are such and industrial uses are such that there is really a pretty good harmony between the two," Lucas said.


A portion of the cost could be offset by federal tax credits. According to the Internal Revenue Service, the Qualifying Advanced Energy Project Credit was enacted by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. This credit provides an investment tax credit of up to 30 percent of qualified investment in a qualifying advanced energy project, which is defined to be a project which establishes, expands or re-equips a manufacturing facility for the production of any of several energy types, in the case of Piramal, energy from the sun, wind, geothermal deposits, or other renewable resources.


"I believe they are going to use the federal tax credit program for energy to offset some of the initial cost. If that tax credit program is able to be used to its fullest potential, those solar panels will pay for themselves in three years. Even with less of an offset from the federal tax credit program the solar panels would pay for themselves in seven," said Lucas.


While it may seem a drop in the bucket, the solar array will provide clean, green energy to at least one area industry. Also important, is the fact that the array will take some of the burden off Ameren UE, who is nearly tapped out at the industrial park due to the volume of electricity provided.


"It makes it possible for more energy usage in the industrial park. Right now Ameren is providing all the electricity they can to the industrial park. Piramal is among their top ten users in the whole state. So the industrial park is kind of peaked out. So now with 20 percent of the energy being provided by the sunshine, that allows Ameren to provide other users in the industrial park with more power," Lucas said.


Lucas said the project could also be expanded in the years to come to provide solar energy to additional manufacturers in the industrial park.


The Daily Journal will provide more information on this story as it evolves.

Source: http://dailyjournalonline.com/parkhills/news/piramAuthor: shangyi

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