Solar panels at Integrity Fab and Machine.

IFABM has added solar panels to our facility to limit interruptions in our power supply. We used existing land on our property, in the industrial park out of respect for our farming neighbors.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • When the power grid goes out, will IFABM still be able to supply electricity to the facility and keep working?
    • Unfortunately – No.  When the grid goes down, the system shuts off.  This is primarily for safety reasons.
  • We are in Michigan, is it too cloudy for the system to work properly?
    • The solar resource capacity is lower in Michigan than in other parts of the Midwest.  In a September 2021 ranking of electrical cost by state – Michigan ranks 10th highest out of 50 states for both residential and commercial electrical rates. 
    • So even though we produce less electricity – we are offsetting a much higher electric rate. We now have “peak rate surcharges” at 1.5 times the off-peak rate between 2-7 pm M-F.
    • An array in Michigan may provide more of a benefit than a similar system in a sunnier place.
  • Does the variety of weather and temperatures in Michigan effect the performance of the system?
    • There are several technical reasons why solar works so well in Michigan.  Solar panels are more efficient when they are colder – 0.4% more efficient for each degree Celsius it is colder.  So lower temperatures equal more power generation.
    • Secondly – we have what are commonly termed “bi-facial panels”. These allow the sunlight to be absorbed on back side of the panels contributes to the power generating capacity.  With snow on the ground – more light is reflected, and more power is generated.
      • This is why we installed the white crushed limestone base under the arrays.
  • How long will the panels last?
    • The panels, made in North America by Canadian Solar, Inc. – have a 25-year warranty and a 40-year expected lifespan.