Press Release: Solar Panels Help LB Processors Cut Costs
NASHVILLE, TN – Tax credits, utility incentives and attractive financing options are prompting businesses in Middle Tennessee to install solar as a way to reduce their operating costs and lower their tax burden. One of the latest businesses to do so is LB Processors, LLC, an emu oil processor and distributor located in Chapmansboro, TN. Local installer LightWave Solar completed the 50 kilowatt (kW) system in May, and LB Processors recently received their first electric bill with solar that shows a generation credit of $700, about 25% of their total bill.
“First and foremost we installed solar because it makes sense financially,” says LB Processors CFO, Trevor Peterson. “We looked closely at the numbers and were very pleased with the incentives and payback,” he adds.
LB Processors participates in Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) solar incentive program, Green Power Providers, in which TVA buys 100% of solar generation for 20 years. This is the last year that new applicants can lock in a two cent premium rate for 10 years. For a 50 kW system, the average annual revenue for the first 10 years is approximately $9,000 per year.
“As electric rates go up, solar becomes increasingly valuable because of the avoidance of fuel cost increases over time,” explains Brian Bickel, Director of Sales at LightWave Solar.
Starting in 2016 TVA will only pay the retail rate with no premium for solar projects approved in next year’s program. The difference is about $1,300 annually for a 50kW system.
“The drop in premium is supposed to reflect the drop in solar prices, though we do not expect solar costs to come down much next year,” says LightWave Solar President Steve Johnson. “The two cent drop is not huge, but it makes an investment in solar look better this year,” he adds.
LB Processors will claim the federal tax benefits that are still available for commercial solar installations. The Investment Tax Credit equals 30 percent of total solar project cost with no cap, and the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) is a method of depreciation in which the business can recover up to about 30 percent of their solar property costs over six years through annual deductions.
“But not every business wants to wait six or seven years to see upside from their solar investment,” says Bickel. “LB Processors worked with BB&T to finance the portion of system cost that will remain after the first year tax incentives are recouped. This popular strategy allows the company to be cash flow positive in less than two years,” explains Bickel.
“We are passionate about efficiency and squeeze waste out of our manufacturing process wherever possible,” says LB Processors President and Founder, Paul Binford. “We’ve switched to LED lighting, installed energy management systems to reduce demand charges, and we reuse waste oil. Solar further reduces operating costs and fits right into our core values as a business,” Binford says.
TVA’s Green Power Providers program is currently accepting applications, but space is limited. For more information on TVA’s solar program, solar tax credits and financing, visit www.lightwavesolar.com or call 615-641-4050.
About LightWave Solar:
Based in Nashville, LightWave Solar is an experienced solar engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firm who helped pioneer the solar industry in Tennessee. Since their founding in 2006, LightWave Solar is 100% focused on solar PV with over 500 solar projects installed across the region. LightWave Solar is comprised of highly trained staff including more North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Solar PV Professionals than any other firm in the Midsouth. Solar information is available at www.lightwavesolar.com.
About LB Processors:
LB Processors, LLC, is located in middle Tennessee and is the world leader in emu oil refining and bulk sales. Using a state of the art, all-natural physical refining process, LB Processors produces the highest quality emu oil in the world. Organized in 2002, LB Processors’ refined emu oil sets the standard for emu oil usage in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and nutraceuticals worldwide. Visit www.lbprocessors.com for more information about emu oil.