On a day when parts of the state experienced record-breaking heat, officials and guests at Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. Tuesday celebrated the activation of the company’s first solar panel array — a sprawling 450 panels mounted on a rooftop.
The panels, technically known as a solar photovoltaic system, are part of the manufacturer’s clean energy program.
Mounted on the roof of a new engineering building at Sikorsky’s campus, the panels are expected to generate 106,250 kilowatt-hours of renewable energy annually, according to the company.
Each year, according to Sikorsky officials, the panels will produce environmental benefits that are equate to removing more than 72,000 pounds of carbon dioxide, 53 pounds of nitrogen oxide and 31 pounds of sulfur dioxide from the environment.
“This was an easy decision for us because the environmental and financial impacts are so compelling,” Sikorsky President Jeffrey Pino said in a statement.
“For the same reasons, we are constructing a co-generation plant on site that will power our facility here while reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” he said. “These projects demonstrate how environmental responsibility and sound business management go hand in hand.”
The solar panel array was built, and is owned and operated, by Soltage, a New Jersey-based renewable energy company.
The project was paid for in part by a $253,515 grant from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, which covered about 40 percent of Soltage’s equipment costs.
David Eherts, vice president of environment, health and safety and chief safety officer at Sikorsky, said the company may apply its partnership with Soltage to its other facilities.
“By working with Soltage, we’re able to lock in competitive electric rates for our facility and stabilize costs while supporting renewable energy,” Eherts said.
The aircraft manufacturer, headquartered at 6900 Main. St., is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. of Hartford.