NY Light Energy and KYOCERA Give Urban Renewal a Solar Edge

10/31/13

Amsterdam, N.Y. has struggled during the economic downturn, with many businesses shutting their doors and new businesses fighting to survive. What’s a small town to do when manufacturing moves out and unemployment moves in?

New York Light Energy (NYLE), a company that designs, installs, and operates photovoltaic (PV) power systems on commercial buildings and properties, has a sunny solution: a zero-down offer for customers who want to install Kyocera’s industry-leading solar modules on their roofs and bask in the benefits of solar energy. You read that right: no upfront investment for customers, just an agreement to buy electricity from NYLE — and, at rates lower than typical “grid” utility charges. As a result, return on investment and savings are immediate.

“We install the Kyocera solar PV system at our cost, taking advantage of state and federal subsidies,” explained Alex Lieb, CEO of NYLE.  “The customer agrees to buy the electricity produced on their roof with our system at a set rate, which is typically at least 20% below grid price and sometimes even lower.” 

Family-owned Cranesville Properties LLC is one of NYLE’s many satisfied customers. Cranesville owns a shopping mall in Amsterdam, N.Y., which struggled with low tenancy due to the economic downturn. To help target key expense points such as lighting and air conditioning costs, NYLE installed 250 kilowatts (kW) of Kyocera solar PV modules on the mall’s roof through a Power Purchase Agreement with Cranesville. With the savings in electricity rates, Cranesville is able to keep their rents for potential mall tenants lower and more competitive overall, enabling them to keep more businesses in the city of Amsterdam.

Now that 30% of the mall’s power is supplied by the clean, renewal energy of the sun, helping Cranesville to keep rent rates down, the number of tenants in the mall has grown, and more businesses are considering moving into the mall.

NYLE has installed Kyocera solar modules on a number of other key businesses in the City of Amsterdam: Alpin Haus (400kW); Power Pallet (250kW) and Mangino Auto Dealership (200kW). The town of Amsterdam itself installed 60kW. And they’re all reporting impressive results with Kyocera solar modules on their rooftops, which typically produce more solar power than their rating. Word of mouth about NYLE’s Power Purchase Agreement has been extremely positive and a deciding factor for businesses like Cranesville going solar.

Alex credits NYLE’s partnership with Kyocera for helping propel the company’s growth and success.

“100% of the solar modules we install are from Kyocera!” Alex stated emphatically. “The reason is simple: Kyocera’s module performance over the 20-year length of our Power Purchase Agreement is much better than the competition. And Kyocera offers proven performance, versus the statistically calculated degradation many other companies offer. For example, a company that’s been in business for only five years – and there are a lot of them – can only forecast what their modules’ output might be in 20 years. But Kyocera, with installations such as the Sakura Solar Energy Center in Japan that’s been around since 1984, has documented its modules’ performance over nearly four decades. The actual performance of Kyocera modules exceeds the projected performance of other companies.”

“The industry standard is 1% performance degradation per year over 20 years,” Alex continued. “By using Kyocera solar panels, which have been measured to have less than half of this industry standard degradation, we’re picking up a significant percentage of solar power production over 20 years, which translates to money in our pocket. We analyze the total cost of ownership for every component we buy; Kyocera solar modules end up being the least expensive modules over their lifetime because of this outstanding performance.”

Since 2009, NYLE has installed nearly 200 PV systems in New York’s Capital District area – exclusively using Kyocera panels. And their business continues to grow by leaps and bounds thanks to the word of mouth from satisfied, long-term customers.

“We tell our clients what to expect based on the performance data of Kyocera solar modules, and we set our customers’ expectation for the modules’ performance ratings,” Alex said. “When the Kyocera modules outperform their rating, which they often do, our customers are delighted to be receiving excess power, and then they often refer another company to us.”

“Our business keeps growing, thanks to the reliability of Kyocera solar modules.”

 And their business continues to grow by leaps and bounds thanks to the word of mouth from satisfied, long-term customers.

“We tell our clients what to expect based on the performance data of Kyocera solar modules, and we set our customers’ expectation for the modules’ performance ratings,” Alex said. “When the Kyocera modules outperform their rating, which they often do, our customers are delighted to be receiving excess power, and then they often refer another company to us.”

“Our business keeps growing, thanks to the reliability of Kyocera solar modules.”