No longer a niche product for environmentalists, solar panels are increasingly showing up on factory roofs thanks to tax incentives and rising costs for traditional energy sources.
And the cost benefit analysis in favor of solar is growing by the day.
Consider the case of Emerald Packaging Inc., a California flexible packaging maker that will spend more than $3 million for rooftop solar panels at two buildings in Union City that will supply 50 percent of the power demand at one building and 25 percent of the energy for the smaller building.
"We've looked at solar for years and priced it out and it's really never penciled out," CEO Kevin Kelly told PN's Jim Johnson. "In the last year, PG&E has raised rates 20 percent and there's another 30 percent increase on the table for 2023. … It's under three years at this point in terms of payback, which is utterly remarkable."
Beyond rising energy costs, Emerald will benefit from state and federal tax incentives that will cover more than half the cost of the project.