Leprechaun Bus Lines

  • Project Type: Commercial
  • Location: New Windsor, NY

Leprechaun Coach Lines

Leprechaun Bus Lines is a third-generation, family-owned transportation company in New Windsor, NY. Started in 1934, the company owns and operates school, transit, and charter buses. Frank Gallagher, owner and CFO, is constantly looking for ways to reduce his company’s expenses. Watch as he explains the economics behind his decision to go solar.

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Financial Impact

71% of installation price covered by tax credits or grants
Total System Cost $632,810
Federal Tax Credit ($189,843)
USDA Grant ($158,000)
NYSERDA (larger than 200 kW) ($99,666)
Net Cost (after incentives) $185,000
5 Years
System Payback (expected)
22 %

Benefits of Solar for Leprechaun Bus Lines

Leprechaun Bus Lines is enjoying numerous benefits from switching to solar.

  • They virtually eliminated a fixed cost from their budget
  • With remote net metering, the solar system produces enough energy to cover 6 company buildings throughout New Windsor and Newburgh, NY
  • The system will provide 26+ years of free electricity after the expected payback period is reached

Designing an Energy-Efficient Building

After a 2012 fire destroyed their building, Leprechaun Bus Lines was forced to design and construct a new office and service facility from the ground up. Frank Gallagher took this as an opportunity to design an energy-efficient building that would reduce overhead costs and increase comfort for his staff. Alongside radiant heating, LED lighting, and auxiliary heating sources that use recycled oil, Frank designed the roof of this new building with solar in mind. The low-slope roof is oriented toward the southwest and built with standing seam metal, which would make installing solar panels easier.

With the building nearing completion in 2015, the plan was to install a solar array in the next 5 years, when Gallagher believed it would make more financial sense. But he never imagined solar would make sense so soon.

Meeting Paradise Energy Solutions

In August 2015, Gallagher went to a solar open house hosted by Paradise Energy’s
New York Team.

The event was held at Ray’s Transportation, a new solar installation just across the street from Gallagher’s almost-finished building. At this event, Frank Gallagher met with a Paradise Energy Solar Consultant, who showed him how it was the perfect time to switch to solar in New York state. Thanks to generous incentives, tax credits, and grants, he could save up to 75% on the installation of a solar array system for his new building. After looking at the numbers, Gallagher was convinced solar was the right move; he signed a contract and we started designing the system.

Our staff took care of all the permits and paperwork for the project, including the 167-page application for the federal USDA grant. In 2016, Gallagher was awarded a USDA REAP grant for $158,000 – more than 25% of the installation costs. Combined with credits and other incentives, Gallagher saved 71% of the cost of their solar installation.

Top 10 Answers

Solar is more affordable than ever.
Find out why.

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