New TigerPress solar array to generate 70% of power needed by East Longmeadow commercial printing company
Buying the electric power generated by TigerPress' new 653-kilowatt rooftop solar array would cost the commercial printer $100,000.
Taking that into consideration along with the tax breaks and green energy incentives offered by the state and federal governments, as well as and the ability to depreciate the equipment for tax purposes, and the decision to invest $1.5 million in the solar array was easy to make, owner Reza Shafii said.
"We always wanted to do green and environmentally friendly printing," said Shafii, who owns the company with wife, Jennifer Shafii.
TigerPress isn't the first local company to add solar equipment to its factory. Sullivan Paper in West Springfield and Smith & Wesson in Springfield have already done so.
TigerPress and New York-based EnterSolar, which designed and implemented the project, hosted a ceremonial ribbon-cutting and tours Thursday.
The 2,500 solar panels went into operation at the beginning of the year, Shaffi said. The system is expected to generate 750,000 kilowatt hours of electricity this year, or about 70 percent of what the TigerPress will need.
A killowatt hour is a unit of measurement that equals the amount of energy used by a 1,000-watt appliance running for an hour.
A kilowatt is a measure of power demand at any given time.
The average suburban home uses about 10,812 kilowatt hours of electricity a year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
According to its website, EnterSolar has completed numerous solar projects around the Northeast including a 655-kilowatt ground mounted solar system for Big Y in Stafford Springs, Connecticut, a 1,400-kilowatt roof-mounted solar system for Allied Printing in Manchester, Connecticut, and a 202-kilowatt solar system for The Hartford in Windsor, Connecticut.
The Shaffis founded TigerPress in 1985 as Copy Cat print shop in Amherst. The business grew into commercial printing locations in Deerfield and Northampton before moving to East Longmeadow five years ago.
Today, it has a 100,000-square-foot facility with 85 employees and prints items such as pharmaceutical packaging, six-pack holders for small breweries, advertising mailers, scorecards for golf courses, books with small print runs and its own magazine for the pageant industry called Supermodels Unlimited.