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Konditor Meister installs Braintree's 1st commercial solar panels

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  December 18, 2012 04:13 PM

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Photo courtesy of Cohn Public Relations

Solar panels on the rooftop will save the company an estimated $13,000 a year on utility bills.

Konditor Meister, long known for its cakes and pastries, has a new distinction.

The bakery at Wood Road in Braintree completed installation of 235 solar panels Tuesday, becoming the first business in town using solar panels as part of its business.

Producing 82,000 kilowatt-hours annually, the panels will save the company an estimated $13,000 a year on utility bills and produce the equivalent of half the bakery’s current electricity usage.

“I am proud to have the first commercial solar installation in Braintree because I’ve always believed in helping the environment.” said Konditor Meister owner Guenther Moesinger.

According to Moesinger, in the 16 years the company has been located in Braintree, the electricity needs of the business have increased due to refrigeration and mixers. Buying solar panels to contribute green energy to the electrical companies was his way of making up for all that use.

Additionally, “with the support of federal, state and local government, the investment in solar energy is very cost-effective,” Moesinger said. “The expertise of [solar engineers] Invaleon made it easy to do the right thing for the environment with renewable energy.”

Invaleon Technologies Corp. and Konditor Meister both worked with Braintree Electric Light Department to implement the change.

“On a daily basis, over 50% on New England’s electricity is generated with fossil fuel,” said Braintree Electric General Manager Bill Bottiggi in a release. “Solar projects like this reduce that dependence and contribute to a better environment for everyone.”

Mayor Joseph Sullivan also complimented the company.

“We are proud to be the home of such a cutting-edge bakery.” Sullivan said in a release. “And now their environmental commitment may begin to match the flavor of their cakes. It is a cause for celebration!”

Even with all the benefits the newly installed solar panels will bring, Konditor is not stopping there.

The company is planning to install another 105 panels in their parking lot in January.

The parking lot panels will go on top of “carports”, which will not only help generate green electricity, but provide shade for customer’s cars.

“We tell customers to leave their car A/C on during hot days [when they come to pick up their goods] so that their cakes do not melt once they get inside their cars,” Moesinger said. “By not having to run their A/C while they’re parked, customers will be able to offset over 1,500 gallons of gasoline each year.”

According to Tom Wu, the CEO of Invaleon, the two-part upgrade to the Braintree company is a creative and important investment.

“Originally it was for the electrical benefits but [the carport shade] became a big added value that we could provide him,” Wu said.

The engineering of the structure was initially problematic, as it had to withstand Massachusetts snow and wind, but Wu believes they have a good solution.

“The numbers work on our side and we’re hoping we can agree between the town and us,” he said.

The permitting process will begin for the later half of the project in upcoming weeks. Engineers will need to receive approval from the local utility company, get a building permit from the town’s Zoning Board, and receive an electrical permit.

Overall, both sets of panels will earn the company almost $28,000 in energy credits every year, Wu said. The panels will also eliminate more than 100,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, the equivalent of taking 21 cars permanently off Braintree roads.

With federal tax credits and other financial incentives supporting approximately half the cost of the project, Moesinger will be able to recoup the cost for the system in three to four years, Wu said.

Overall, it’s a positive direction for the company and one other commercial businesses around the region should look carefully at.

“Beyond the environmental aspects … there’s the economic factor,” Wu said.

“He’s getting his investment back, and we offer a warranty for 25 years and over that lifetime, he’s making quite a lot of money on it…it’s a lucrative financial incentive,” he said.

To learn more about Konditor Meister, visit here.

To learn more about Invaleon, click here.

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