Final inspections complete, Solar Power Plant goes live

Final inspections complete,

Solar Power Plant goes live

February 8, 2010

Michael Shilale Architects, (MSA) fired up their own green power plant Monday, rated at 4.05 kilowatts.  This photovoltaic array will generate approximately 30% of the annual electricity used by this Rockland County based architectural firm.

The system is made up of 18 panels manufactured by Sun Power. Each panel is rated at 225 watts, one of the highest ratings in the industry. The system was built by ISI Solar, a well known solar installation company that is headquartered only two doors down Third Street from MSA’s headquarters.  James Albert, the president of ISI Solar says, "it has made the installation a bit easier than most, and we’re excited with the results.”

The array is part of MSA’s quest for LEED certification. Under the LEED for Existing Buildings program up to half a dozen points can be achieved by generating green power on the rooftop. The best part of the deal is that the solar array will pay for itself in under 8 years. This is made possible by a NYSERDA grant, a 30% federal tax credit and an accelerated depreciation expense.

MSA has been working with several clients, helping implement energy savings measures that can totally fund needed capital improvements. The model is called an Energy Saving Performance Contract.

Provident Banks’ first NYSERDA “Energy Smart Loan," financed the solar installation, building envelope upgrades including a new roof and high performance windows, a super high efficiency HVAC system, new lighting and lighting controls including daylight harvesting, instantaneous water heaters, and a rainwater harvesting system.

These capital improvements will save enough energy to pay for themselves in approximately 15 years. This is the average payback for the entire project. Lighting and controls have quicker paybacks, while roofing and window projects have somewhat longer ones. Fifteen years is a longer payback than most businesses are comfortable with, however the low cost financing makes most of these projects cost neutral.

Read more about Energy Saving Performance Contracts here.
Michael Shilale Architects, LLP (MSA), an eight person architectural engineering firm founded in 1991, is committed to protecting and preserving the environment through their design work. We help our clients solve their building problems, protect their assets and investments, build under budget, and realize their vision. MSA serves a municipal, commercial, residential and educational client base, including Rockland, Orange, Sullivan, Ulster and Nassau counties, in New York, as well as Bergen, Passaic, Hudson and Essex Counties in New Jersey. For more information, please call 845-708-9200, or visit their website at,