Preferred Utilities Manufacturing, a provider of custom-engineered boiler solutions that reduce emissions and increase efficiency, has expanded its commitment to sustainability with the completion of a 209 kW solar panel installation at its Danbury, CT facility. The solar panels generate approximately 70 percent of the building’s usage and support the town of Danbury’s grid when the plant is not in operation.
The solar panel implementation represents the next step in Preferred’s deployment of green energy solutions. In 2020, the company began utilizing Bio-Residual Oil (BRO) to heat its 50,000-square-foot facility. BRO is a fuel made from an array of biological materials such as agricultural waste, animal fats, and even recycled cooking oil. With its expertise in boiler technology, Preferred Utilities Manufacturing was able to convert its entire heating system to run on this low-emission, earth-friendly fuel. Now, with the addition of the recent solar panel installation, the Preferred has further reduced its carbon-based fuel usage.
“The energy market needs equipment and expertise that leverage the use of renewable energy,” said Dwayne Boulden, Preferred Vice President of Finance. “Preferred takes a holistic approach to providing solutions, and adding solar to our building is a great demonstration of what we’re able to do. We’ve upgraded our property, and we’re investing in our community. And of course, we’re saving money, too.”
“There are no ‘silver bullets’ in the quest for sustainability with renewable energy. Intelligent, real, cost-effective diversification is the winner,” added Preferred CEO David Bohn. “If you are going to invest in a sustainable future, you have to look at a number of solutions, fuels, and energy sources. That’s why our combination of solar power generation and non-fossil, clean burning, ultra-low carbon emission BRO is so successful, for Preferred Utilities and the planet.”
The solar panel array was installed in the facility’s parking lot, which had the added benefit of creating a covered parking area. In the first few months since the solar panels went online, Preferred has generated 60,000 kW, saving $10,000. Since the solar panels went online in winter, that number is expected to increase substantially with the additional sunlight of spring and summer. Preferred anticipates that it will generate more than 200 megawatts each year, saving more than $30,000 annually.