The Leewood Building on Newark Street has installed a new solar-powered roof that is the largest solar array in the city. The building will provide 95 percent of tenant Swix Sport USA's electrical needs.
The roof will produce 400,000 kilowatts of electricity each year, which is equal to the amount used by 46 households. During the next 25 years, 15 million pounds of greenhouse gasses will be offset.
"I am proud to have taken my dad's 40-year-old manufacturing building and turned it into one of the region's most energy-efficient facilities," said building owner Peter Schwarz.
The electricity will not only be used by Swix Sport, a supplier of skiing accessories, but will also be sold to National Grid to provide a source of renewable power for the Merrimack Valley.
"It is a step toward meeting the goal set by Gov. Deval Patrick of having 250 megawatts of renewable energy by 2017," said Schwarz.
Schwarz said he used state and federal incentives to help lower project costs and worked with local vendors to install the rooftop. The entire project cost $1.5 million.
The building was originally built by Schwarz's father, Irving Schwarz, for heavy manufacturing. Now his son is trying to make the property more attractive for new tenants.
"In this tough economy, tenants are looking for properties that reflect their corporate values of greener, leaner and sustainable," Schwarz said.
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