Oldest U.S. bicycle maker switches to solar power

RP news wires, Noria Corporation
Tags: energy management

The New York Industrial Retention Network (NYIRN) in partnership with Solar Energy Systems, LLC (SES) announces the installation of a 15.12 kilowatt Photovoltaic (PV) system at Worksman Cycles, the oldest bicycle manufacturer in the U.S. Worksman Cycles manufactures heavy-duty bicycles used by delivery services and factory workers as well as specialty cycles including adult tricycles and hot dog vending carts. Worksman employs 50 people at their factory in Ozone Park in Queens, New York.


Through NYIRN's RenewableNY program, Worksman Cycles met Brooklyn-based SES, a solar energy integrator specializing in commercial applications. SES designed and installed the 15.12 kW solar electric system on the facility's rooftop. It will generate more than 600,000 kilowatt-hours over its 40-year expected lifetime. Combining this production with NYC electrical cost savings programs will reduce Worksman's monthly electric bill by over 20 percent. The solar output will protect Worksman against future rate increases and lessen the burden on New York's electricity grid.


"Because solar energy production peaks in conjunction with high usage, New York City benefits by further alleviating the need for peaking generators, which typically are the most polluting of all generation sources," said David Buckner, president of SES.


The New York State Energy Research & Development Authority provided an upfront incentive to help pay for the system and Worksman will utilize available federal and State tax incentives to further reduce their overall cost. "Investment in a renewable energy system speaks loudly towards Worksman Cycles' commitment towards environmental stewardship and sustainability. By participating in NYSERDA's customer friendly PV incentive program, Worksman Cycles is setting an example for similar sized businesses looking to improve their bottom line by reducing energy costs. A PV system is one way to achieve that," said Paul D. Tonko, President and CEO of NYSERDA


In addition to the roof-top solar panels, Worksman Cycles also replaced every light fixture in the 100,000-square foot facility with high efficiency lighting.


"This project is tremendously exciting for us. What could be greener than a bicycle made with solar energy?" said Wayne Sosin, president of Worksman Cycles. "We're cutting our operating costs and increasing our marketability as an environmentally responsible business."


NYIRN's RenewableNY program helps manufacturers reduce energy use and costs through conservation and clean energy systems. "We've identified 77 million square feet of industrial roofs that would be great for solar," said Adam Friedman, executive director of NYIRN. "Those rooftops could translate into the equivalent of a new power plant with zero emissions, with no delays finding a location and with the added benefit of reducing energy costs for the underlying manufacturers."


"Promoting energy conservation is a triple win," said Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan of Queens, who provided funding for the RenewableNY program. "The company wins by cutting costs, the workers win by keeping Queens an attractive location for their jobs and all the residents of Queens win by reducing strain on the electrical grid, which will help prevent blackouts and should be one of the City's highest priorities."


"There is a dramatic shift going on in our economy and it is creating opportunities for New York businesses," said Councilman James Gennaro, Chair of the City Council's Committee on Environmental Protection, who provided funding for NYIRN's programs to promote green manufacturing. "Worksman Cycles is one of dozens of local companies that are seizing the growth potential in green markets."


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