Enphase Adds Savings in Office’s Deep Green Retrofit
Caribe Federal Credit Union was a pioneer in financing solar installations for homeowners in Puerto Rico. When it did a deep green energy retrofit of its new headquarters building in Guaynabo, near San Juan, it took a lesson from its members and looked to solar to offset its energy bill.
Credit Union Cashes in on Solar Savings
Before moving into the 26,000 sq ft office building, Caribe Federal undertook a massive energy efficiency project, upgrading the building’s windows, lighting, and HVAC to lower its electricity needs. With just a 6,000 sq ft roof that already housed the air conditioning systems, space was limited for solar.
Installer New Energy realized that using Enphase would eliminate the space needed for a string or central inverter and minimize the impact of any shading from the HVAC units. Specifying Enphase enabled the system to go from the 154 modules that a string inverter system would have allowed to 192 modules. To maximize the production, New Energy paired a high performing LG module with a 250 W microinverter.
Single Solar Technology Enables Installer Expansion
For the installer, using Enphase offers efficiencies of another kind. “Enphase offers New Energy a flexible way to manage our staff: instead of having crews that can only do residential and others that are qualified for commercial, we can use the same crews for any project,” says Vale Aldamuy, CEO and President of New Energy.
New Energy has used Enphase for around 200 installations over the last few years, and the logistical efficiencies, along with consistent performance of the product, recently led New Energy to committing to use 100 percent Enphase in both its strong residential market and its growing small-to-medium commercial business.
Intelligent Insight Expands Demand
New Energy has found commercial customers seeking a system with a lower lifetime cost appreciate Enphase’s proven production and real-time monitoring.
Jorge Vadell, General Manager of Caribe Federal Credit Union, says that “with a low cost of energy over the lifetime of the system, we know that solar PV makes as much financial sense for our company as it does for our members.”
“For ourselves and for our commercial clients, Enphase is more efficient, simpler, and a lower risk when managing larger systems,” Vale says. “For commercial clients, consistency is a plus, and Enphase systems are worry free. Enphase monitoring means we can offer proactive operations and maintenance: customers don’t have to wait for their bill to see if the system is performing, and we are aware of any issues as soon as they happen.”
With an eye on their bottom line, Caribe Federal has asked New Energy to add solar to other offices. “The Enlighten monitoring system will help this commercial customer see their whole energy usage through one system,” Vale says.