Solar Array Puts GAL Manufacturing on the Up and Up
GAL Manufacturing’s rooftop array is one of the largest solar installations in New York City.
Photo Credit: SolarCity
In 1927, a German immigrant started GAL Manufacturing Corp., a company that makes elevator parts near Yankee Stadium in New York City for customers around the world. And Paul Seifried, GAL’s Vice President, wants the 85-year old family business to be pioneering rather than “old school” about energy. To cut costs associated with electricity and improve the Bronx neighborhood and the environment, the company looked into installing a rooftop solar array.
Manufacturing is an energy-intensive endeavor. Solar would open doors as an alternative to fossil-fuel generated energy, which is why it grabbed Seifried’s attention years ago. However, cost held the company back from adopting the technology at that time.
In March 2011, a combination of federal tax credits, state rebates and city property tax exemptions would cover about 65 percent of the $1 million rooftop installation of photovoltaic panels, and finally helped the solar project rise to the top for GAL Manufacturing. The company also received additional funding from NYSERDA under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s NY-Sun Initiative.
Now, 988 solar panels grace GAL Manufacturing’s building, making it one of the largest commercial rooftop installations in New York City. Visitors to Yankee Stadium and drivers on the Major Deegan Expressway, a heavily-travelled route through the Bronx, can see the distinctive solar array.
The 237 kW system was designed and installed by SolarCity, a national company with New York offices in Westchester, Long Island and Albany, and MC Solar Development, LLC, of Mamaroneck, NY. Although GAL Manufacturing is housed in an older building with skylights, the design team had little difficulty finding places in the roof where the solar panels would fit and their weight would be supported. The installation took about three weeks in total and required only a few hours of shutdown to connect the system. Commercial projects can be challenging to complete, but the design and installation of the system for GAL Manufacturing went smoothly and kept GAL’s shutdown time to a minimum.
Without the funding from NYSERDA, however, the elevator company’s project may not have gotten off the ground.
“NYSERDA has set a strong example of how a state government can effectuate change by supporting renewable energy initiatives that are creating local jobs and leading us towards a sustainable future. The funding provided by NYSERDA is critical for family-owned businesses like GAL Manufacturing that has been able to cut costs and save more than $50,000 a year by going solar. We are proud of our collaboration with NYSERDA that is impacting hundreds of communities across the region,” said Erik Fogelberg, Senior Director of Commercial Project Development at SolarCity.
The solar installation will offset roughly one-third of the building’s electrical usage. According to SolarCity’s estimates, the new system will reduce CO2 emissions by 2.7 million pounds over its lifetime.
“Going solar not only makes financial sense, it also has a positive effect on our local Bronx community. We’re excited to be a pioneer in New York City, and we hope other companies will take advantage of the opportunity to go solar, save money and use cleaner energy,” said GAL Manufacturing’s Vice President Paul Seifried.
GAL Manufacturing has leveraged the sun’s power to reduce infrastructure costs and brings the company to a new level as a renewable energy leader in its Bronx neighborhood. That keeps New York State in the business of manufacturing, and would make the founder of GAL Manufacturing proud.
For more information visit GAL Manufacturing