“I’m happy to say that since the SunPower solar system was installed, we’re saving between 10 and 15 percent on the cost of electricity.”
– Mitch Benerofe, Vice President, Benerofe Properties Corporation
For three generations, Benerofe Properties Corporation has developed and managed a diverse portfolio of properties throughout the eastern US. In March of 2008, Benerofe Properties installed a SunPower solar system on the rooftop of an office building located at 4 New King Street in White Plains, NY. Thanks to the monthly savings in energy costs, as well as the benefits to the environment, the family-owned business has since deployed similar systems on two other New King Street properties. With their flagship building attracting curious onlookers, the Benerofes are now helping to educate other New York businesses about the upside to going green.
Tenant Suggests Solar Solution
Benerofe Properties owns commercial buildings in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, many of which are home to some of the country’s most prominent business leaders. The family’s 4 New King Street property houses the NY headquarters of Sprague Energy of New England, one of the largest suppliers of energy and materials in the East. A chance conversation with one of Sprague’s execs – suggesting that Benerofe Properties should consider going solar – encouraged vice president Mitch Benerofe to contact Mercury Solar Systems for a consultation and quote. “We’ve always had a very high sensitivity to things green, and to energy conservation,” says Benerofe. “With the encouragement of our tenant, we spoke with Mercury Solar. They recommended SunPower panels as being the best solution for us. We were extremely happy with the services Mercury Solar provided: Their team accurately scoped the project, they were clean and courteous, and very well organized. All in all, they were excellent installers to work with.”
High-Efficiency SunPower Panels Make the Grade
Like many buildings in busy urban areas, the first New King Street property has minimum rooftop exposure. For that reason, the Mercury Solar team suggested that SunPower’s high-efficiency solar panels – which generate as much as 50 percent more power than conventional solar technologies – would be an ideal solution, as fewer panels would be required to meet tenants’ energy needs. “I was kind of expecting to see these huge panels being installed,” Benerofe says. “But when I looked at them they were very moderate in size, and they couldn’t be seen from the street. The SunPower panels offer a very compact, attractive solution.”
Energy Consumption Low, Community Interest High
Since the original solar installation was completed in March of 2008, Benerofe says the reduction in the building’s energy costs has been as much as 15 percent. At the same time, the solar panels will help the property shrink its carbon emissions by up to 42 tons a year. Such obvious benefits have encouraged Benerofe to add SunPower rooftop panels to two other New King Street properties.
These days, next to the solar power inverters in the lobby at 4 New King Street stands a large flat-panel television. For ten minutes each hour, a feed from a web-based energy consumption meter fills the monitor with a full list of statistics describing the positive outcomes of the building’s SunPower solar solution. Says Benerofe, “People are starting to come in and ask questions about solar; there’s always a crowd standing around the monitor. We hope they respect the fact that we’ve put this in, and will want to learn more about green initiatives.”
Location: White Plains, NY
Completed: March 2008
System Size: 50 kW
PV Surface Area: 3,200 sq ft
Number of Panel: 240
Products: SunPower® T10 Solar Roof Tile
- Electrical usage offset by 25%
- Saves Benerofe Properties more than $11,000 per year with clean solar power
- SunPower T10 Solar Roof Tiles interlock for secure, rapid installation with no penetration to the roof
- Will reduce carbon emissions by 1,200 tons over 30 years, which is equivalent to planting 280 acres of trees or not driving 2,724,000 miles.