Rensselaer Falls welding shop now 100 percent solar-power reliant
By MATT LINDSEY
RENSSELAER FALLS – Hebel Welding and Machine is now 100 percent solar power reliant.
The new solar panels will help the business save money and improve their carbon footprint, according to Angie Foster, office manager.“First, we had Amish come in to expand and reinforce the roof to be able to support all the panels,” Foster said.
After work on the roof was completed, Hebel contacted Scott Shipley of Northern Lights Energy in Canton to install the solar panels.
Over the last couple of months 70 solar panels were installed on Hebel’s two buildings. A smaller building is used for machine work and a larger building is where welding work takes place.
“Over the course of the year it will become self-sustaining,” Foster said.
Foster said the panels are expected to save the business thousands of dollars over time, noting that they need to pay off a loan, but once that is done they will own the panels and see the financial merits.
Foster said the average electric bill for the business was $250 a month. The loan will be paid in full after 10 years and the panels are warrantied for 25 years, giving them many years of savings.
The shop, located at 350 Old State Rd., does work with various metals including steel, stainless, aluminum, cast iron and even titanium.
Aside from saving money, “environmental responsibility is a fabulous thing,” Foster said.
Foster said the panels have been up and running for 24 hours (as of July 13) and the panels produced enough energy to power 152 light bulbs for a day.
The company can check solar monitoring website to see how many CO2 emissions were saved, and what that equates to in trees planted.
The business is owned by Mark Hebel. Hebel works with Foster and two other employees at the shop.
Earlier this year Hebel landed a contact to make over 50 stainless steel doors for subway tunnels in New York City. He also created eleven 1,000 gallon tanks for brewing beer for St. Lawrence Brewing Company in Canton.