In what’s being billed as the largest installation of its kind in the Red Bank area, game & toy retailer Hobbymasters plans to cover the roof of its White Street building in electricity-generating solar panels next month.
Alan Placer, whose family owns Hobbymasters and the two-story building that houses it, calls its 9,600-square-foot roof “a perfect platform” for the project because it’s flat and gets full sun exposure.
When completed, the $180,000 system is expected to throw off 23 kilowatts of power, saving the store an estimated $500 a month in electricity costs, says Placer.
“All in all, the system will have paid for itself and the [underlying new] roof in five years,” Placer says, citing cost savings, federal tax depreciation credits and tradable Solar Renewable Energy Certificates issued by the state that could alone be worth up to $20,000 a year.
A state grant is covering one-third of the costs.
Placer and his family are big on conservation; readers may recall our item on his mom, Arlene, and her effort to recycle packing peanuts.
The solar project has been in the works for more than a year, following discussions about the need for a new roof that employees weighed in on, too.
“It was time to put a new roof on the building, and all of the employees wanted to do it greener,” Placer says in a notice on the store’s website. “After exploring a grass roof, wind turbines, or solar, it was determined that solar panels were our most green option.”