Ridgefield Supply Company will be turning over a new leaf on July 2nd as more than 530 solar panels will be installed behind the main store and showroom. With the help of Connecticut's sunshine and the expertise of PurePoint Energy, the panels will immediately generate all of the electrical needs for Ridgefield Supply Company.

"Our goal is to reduce our energy footprint while becoming a better than net-zero electrical consumer," Ridgefield Supply President Glen Albee said. "Generating more power than we consume is only a first step toward energy independence. We will continue to pull electricity off the grid, so while the cost of electricity supply should be net-zero or better, we will continue to pay for electricity delivery, which is quite expensive here in Connecticut. Long-term we would like to store the electricity we generate and consume our stored power. As technology improves (and storage becomes less expensive) this will become more financially feasible.”

Many states offer tax credits or promotions and programs for residents and businesses utilizing solar energy. Connecticut has been a Zero Emission Renewable Energy Credits (ZREC) state, which allows customers of Eversource and the United Illuminating Company to sell extra energy created by their systems.

“We want to thank the Town of Ridgefield officials for allowing our community to become a C-PACE participating zone earlier this year,” Albee said. “We believe it is in the best interest of the environment and town businesses to look into C-PACE solar & heat/energy reduction opportunities, for both cost savings and environmental reasons.”

Nearly all commercial buildings are eligible for a public-private financing program called C-PACE (commercial property assessed clean energy), which makes clean energy feasible and practical for commercial property owners.

C-PACE legislation has been passed in 34 states thus far, with 20 actively incorporating the program. Greenworks Lending operates in 13 of those states, leading lending in Connecticut, which has had C-PACE in place since 2012, with 129 of 169 of Connecticut’s towns participating.

As Ridgefield Supply Company becomes better than net-zero and generates more energy than it consumes, this will significantly lower the company’s carbon footprint. Funding was coordinated with Greenworks Lending in conjunction with C-PACE, making for a simple and seamless transaction.

Solar panels work by turning the sunlight that shines on them – direct and indirectly – into a direct current, which is then converted into an alternating current by an inverter. Ridgefield Supply will use the AC power gained from its solar panels to provide electricity for the company.

Solar energy, and solar panels, have changed drastically over the last decade to be more efficient, more affordable and more aesthetically pleasing.