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Author Archive for kim-belle-marin

SolarCraft Welcomes New VP of Sales & Marketing

Novato and Sonoma-based SolarCraft, a leader in solar energy system design and installation, announced today that Ted Walsh has joined their company as
VP of Sales & Marketing to help manage expanding solar business.

Ted Walsh leads the Sales and Marketing teams at SolarCraft, as they continue to develop and implement new projects in the residential and commercial solar energy markets. Ted has been a leader in the solar industry for more than 10 years, and has lead several local solar companies to national prominence while developing more than 100 commercial projects and several hundred residential solar projects within the North Bay community.  Most recently Ted was President of a leading national commercial solar provider based in Petaluma, leading their growth and eventual acquisition by the nation’s largest utility.

Joining the SolarCraft team in February of 2017, Ted is excited to bring his expertise and experience in renewable energy and his passion for environmental leadership and local sustainability to SolarCraft.  Ted combines a high level of integrity, customer perspective and personnel management experience with expertise in local energy markets, energy technology, and project finance.  He believes strongly that SolarCraft possesses the ideal balance of technical expertise, ‘client-first’ company culture, and proven technology partners to best serve the Northern California market.

Ted holds degrees in Economics, Managerial Accounting, and Chemistry from the University of Rochester and the University of South Florida, respectively.  A lifelong athlete, he competed in the decathlon in college and played professional basketball in Europe.  He coaches youth sports locally, volunteers for local community and sustainability programs, and lives in Western Marin County with his wife and two young children, whose middle names are Sunshine and Wind.

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SolarCraft Completes Solar Power Installation at Robert Young Estate Vineyards & Winery

Sun Shines on Alexander Valley Vineyard

solar power installation, solar for wineries, Robert Young Winery

Novato and Sonoma based SolarCraft announced the completion of a 190 kW solar electric panel system at Robert Young Estate Vineyards & Winery in Geyserville, CA. This historic Alexander Valley property is now powered by renewable, clean energy while enjoying lower utility costs.

Now, with a 190 kW solar power system, electrical use on all contiguous parcels of the 450-acre estate will be offset. In other words, with virtual net metering, most energy usage by Robert Young Estate winery, vineyards, residences, and other buildings will be offset by solar energy. This solar power system will immensely reduce the carbon footprint on the estate and save millions of dollars over many years of operation.

Jim Young, CEO of Robert Young Estate Vineyards & Winery said “This solar array system is an important part of our continued commitment to farm and produce wines sustainably for generations to come.”

The solar photovoltaic system is ground mounted on a small hillside at the west end of the vineyards and consists of 582 SunPower high-efficiency 327-watt solar panels. The system’s solar panels convert sunlight directly into electricity and is expected to generate approximately 315,207 kilowatt hours of emissions-free electricity each year, eliminating most of their electrical costs.

The system’s solar electric panels allow the Winery to generate enough electricity to spare the air more than 12 million lbs. of C02 gases annually. Over 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to eliminating over 20 million miles of driving. That’s comparable to the air pollution removed by 106 acres of trees.

About Robert Young Estate Vineyards & Winery
Immigrating from upstate New York to California for the Gold Rush, Peter Young, grandfather of Robert Young, settled on a 206-acre ranch southeast of Geyserville, California in 1858. He was among the pioneers who literally built the community of the Alexander Valley. From wheat and cattle to prunes and now wine grapes, throughout six generations, the Scions of Robert Young have sustained a unique balance of dedication to and preservation of the land.

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SolarCraft Installs Solar Power for St. James Catholic Church of Petaluma

North Bay Church Saves Thousands with Solar Electricity

SolarCraft solar panel installation at St. James Catholic Church of Petaluma

Sonoma and Novato-based SolarCraft announced the completion of a 26 kW solar panel system at St. James Church of Petaluma, CA.  Designed and built by SolarCraft, the North Bay Church’s system will reduce their carbon footprint and offset almost 100% of their PG&E usage.

The solar system is ground mounted in a visible location near the parking area, demonstrating to the Congregation the Church’s commitment to the environment and sustainability.   The solar system will reduce the church’s electricity bill by over $9,000 in its first year of operation.

The array is comprised of 96 Suniva 270-watt solar panels.  Each of the 96 solar panels is controlled by a microinverter, manufactured by Enphase Energy of Petaluma, CA.  Microinverters are small, compact units directly attached to each solar panel to convert power independently at the panel, maximizing energy production and reducing impacts from shading.   Overall system efficiency is increased by 10 – 12%.

The Church’s solar electric panels will spare the air nearly 30 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually.  Over 25 years the system is estimated to offset 873,840 kWh of electricity and the air pollution saved will be equivalent to eliminating over 2.4 million miles of driving or planting 13 acres of trees.

About St. James Catholic Church of Petaluma

St. James Catholic Church was the second Catholic Church built in Petaluma. It was founded in 1964 and dedicated in 1966. Its architecture is reminiscent of the adobe structures built by early settlers, and the interior is finished in redwood, acknowledging its location in the heart of the redwood empire.  There have been three pastors in its history: Fr. Charles O’Leary, Fr. Michael Cleary, and Fr. Michael Culligan. All three priests were born in Ireland. Just as the Irish are famous for their faith and friendliness, you’ll find those virtues in the parish of St. James.

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Nova Group

Corporate Business Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

Nova group commissioned SolarCraft to install a 187 kW solar panel installation as part of the company’s move to reduce reliance on the electrical grid and lower their environmental footprint.

Nova Group is now generating their own power and enjoying over a 90% reduction in their power bills, saving the company $2 million dollars in energy fees over the next 20 years.

Designed and installed by SolarCraft, the solar photovoltaic system is ground-mounted and consists of 612 Canadian Solar 305- watt solar panels, providing 292,230 kWh of sustainable solar power every year. The excess energy is fed back to PG&E, reducing the energy pressures on the local power grid.

The ground-mounted array showcases Nova’s commitment to renewable energy to the public, as well as to its employees.

Over the life of the system 229 tons of carbon dioxide will be eliminated from Nova Group’s carbon footprint, which is the equivalent of removing 19 million miles of driving over the next 25 years. That’s also comparable to the air pollution removed by more than 98 acres of trees. These numbers show there is a very positive impact with solar energy systems. Plus the system has about a 4-year pay back. A win-win for the environment and their bottom-line.

System Specifications
System Size 187 kW DC
168 kW AC
Location Napa, CA
Solar Panel (612) Canadian Solar 350 W
Inverter (6) SMA Tripower 1,000 v
Mounting System RBI Ground Mounted System with driven piles
Estimated Annual kWh 292,230
Cumulative Cash Positive 4 Years

Customer Profile

Nova Group, Inc. is a general engineering contractor with offices and a fabrication facility in Napa, California. Founded in 1976, Nova established its reputation by building steam lines for the U.S. Government at Mare Island Naval Shipyard. Today, Nova employs over 150 people worldwide; is one of the nation’s most experienced and respected general engineering contractors specializing in hydrant fueling, waterfront, and utility construction; and has received almost $1.2 billion in government contracts.

“We are pleased to join the ranks of those businesses and homeowners who are choosing to get off the grid! As a company we take pride in our innovative and forward thinking approach to our construction projects and we try to apply that same spirit to everything we do. Converting our home office and shop to solar is a concrete example of that.”
~Walter Birdsall, Chief Financial Officer, Nova Group

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Spirit Rock Meditation Center

Non-Profit Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

Sustainability and the environment are top priorities for Spirit Rock. The decision to install solar energy was driven by environmental benefits, and as a non-profit, stabilizing operating expenses and locking in energy prices were major drivers as well.

Spirit Rock partnered with SolarCraft to install a 116 kW solar electric system. This ground mounted system consists of (335) Sunpower 345- watt high efficiency solar modules, providing renewable energy power to the administrative offices, guest facilities and the meditation hall, reducing Spirit Rock’s utility costs by over 90%.

Through the use of special non-profit friendly financing through SolarCraft, which allows clients to benefit from commercial incentives, they pay less for solar power than they would to PG&E. In financial terms, the system generates positive cash flow immediately. Furthermore, Spirit Rock has the option to pay off the system after year 5 to own it outright.

The system’s solar electric panels are expected to generate approximately 190,700 kilowatt hours of clean energy annually. The system allows Spirit Rock to generate enough electricity each day to power over 27 average homes. The amount of carbon offset by the PV array is equivalent to removing 50 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to eliminating almost 3 million miles of driving or planting 10 acres of trees.

System Specifications
System Size 116 kW DC
105 kW AC
Location Woodacre, CA
Solar Panel (335) SunPower 335 W
Inverter (3) Power One Trio 27.6
Mounting System All metal with concrete piers
Estimated Annual kWh 190,700
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile

Nestled in the hills of West Marin County, Spirit Rock Meditation Center is dedicated to the teachings of the Buddha as presented in the vipassana tradition. The practice of mindful awareness, called Insight Meditation, is at the heart of all the activities at Spirit Rock. It was founded in 1987 as Insight Meditation West and is visited by an estimated 40,000 people a year. Spirit Rock hosts a year-round schedule of residential retreats, daylong retreats/workshops, benefit workshops, and weekly classes.

 “‘Move through the world with care,’ taught the Buddha. Spirit Rock is a generator of metta, sending loving kindness across the world. Now our beautiful sunlight generates clean energy, a new form of care, and a reminder to us all to lovingly tend the earth.”
~Jack Kornfield Co-founder, Spirit Rock Meditation Center

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SolarCraft Completes Solar Panel Install at Marin Tennis Club

San Rafael Tennis Club Goes Solar and Saves Money

solarcraft-solar panels-marin tennis club

SolarCraft recently completed the installation of a 50.7 kW DC solar panel installation at the Marin Tennis Club in San Rafael, CA.   The new system offsets their utility bill by 93%, and now powers the Club with clean, sustainable solar energy, saving them thousands in energy fees every year.

Designed and installed by SolarCraft, the solar photovoltaic system is roof mounted on the clubhouse and locker room rooftops, spanning over 2,700 square feet.   It consists of 155 high efficiency SunPower 327-watt solar panels, providing 70,532 kWh of solar power annually.

“With $0 down, and minimal incidental costs to our members, the Marin Tennis Club contracted with SolarCraft to install a solar system which will produce at least 70% of our projected main meter usage for years to come,” said Chris Ventris, General Manager.  “We will be producing more energy than we need during PG&Es peak rates and selling the surplus energy back to PG&E. The solar panels are initially leased to us and are maintained under a Power Purchase Agreement for the next 7 years, after which the Club may purchase them for a discounted price.”

Ventris continued, “We selected SolarCraft out of seven possible solar providers based primarily on the very knowledgeable staff, led by Jeannie Alderson, who helped educate our project team about the details of solar power and the various financing options available, and also the competitive pricing and contracting model SolarCraft offered. We were very pleased with SolarCraft’s professional and efficient installation of the solar panels and the timely completion of this project.”

Over the life of the system almost 3 million tons of carbon dioxide will be eliminated from the Club’s carbon footprint, which is the equivalent of removing 4 million miles of driving over the next 25 years.

About Marin Tennis Club
Located in a sheltered, sunny location in the beautiful Dominican Area of San Rafael, Marin Tennis Club is first and foremost a Tennis Club with 12 superbly maintained courts.  The Club offers a wide variety of tennis related activities, including lessons, competitive tennis, social tennis and clinics.  There is an onsite café, pool and gym and the clubhouse is often the center for parties and other social activities. Marin Tennis club is known for the warm weather, clean courts, and friendly members and staff.

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Congregation Beth Shalom of Napa Sees the Light

The Sun Shines on Napa Valley Synagogue

SolarCraft announced the completion of a 35 kW solar panel system at Congregation Beth Shalom in Napa, CA.  Designed and built by SolarCraft, the Napa Synagogue’s photovoltaic system will reduce their carbon footprint while saving thousands in utility costs in the years to come.

SolarCraft introduced a new financing option very favorable for non-profits and Congregation Beth Shalom saw the sound financial returns. Essentially, the financing payments for the solar power are less than paying PG&E each month, allowing many houses of worship and spiritual communities to go solar.  They can dramatically reduce their climate footprint, which is very congruent with their values, as well as saving them money, which allows them to provide the valuable services to the community.

“It was very important to our membership that our new synagogue be as green and sustainable as possible,” said Paul Bloomberg, Congregation Member and Remodel Project Manager.  “We are a non-profit so their favorable pricing package, allowing us tremendous cost savings from solar power will have a profound impact on our finances and allow us to focus our resources on our membership and programming. I was very impressed with their professionalism, excellent communication, and expertise.  I was equally as happy when I selected Solar Craft for my personal residence!”

The solar photovoltaic system is mounted on multiple roof top locations and consists of 108 LG 320-watt solar panels.  The system’s solar panels convert sunlight directly into electricity and is expected to generate approximately 42,508 kilowatt hours of energy annually, offsetting their PG&E bills by 98 % and providing clean energy to the Synagogue.  Furthermore, Sonoma Clean Power’s favorable rate for solar customers, which give credits for energy exported to the grid, will generate additional savings.

The system’s solar electric panels allow the Congregation to generate enough electricity each day to spare the air nearly 67,000 lbs. of harmful greenhouse gases annually.  Over the life of the system, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to eliminating over 2.7 million miles of driving, or planting 4.3 acres of trees.

About Congregation Beth Shalom
For over sixty years, Congregation Beth Shalom of Napa Valley (known as CBS) has been the center of Jewish life in the Napa Valley.  CBS had its beginnings during World War II as “The Napa Jewish Group”, meeting in members’ homes.  Being the only synagogue in Napa County, they continue to provide a rich religious, educational, cultural and social experience for the increasing number of Jews who have settled here resulting in a congregation of over 300.

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SolarCraft Completes Solar Power System for Central Valley Farm

California Farming Operation Now Harvests the Power of the Sun

 Novato and Sonoma based SolarCraft recently completed the installation of a 35.6 kW solar panel installation at a Central Valley Farming facility in Vernalis, CA. The Farm continues sustainable farming practices with the installation of solar panels which will eliminate a significant portion of the operation’s PG&E bill, saving the company thousands of dollars in energy fees every year.

SolarCraft designed, engineered and installed the project that consists of 9 ground-mount solar arrays. The photovoltaic system is interconnected to the Farm’s commercial shop meter and also virtually offsets a separate orchard irrigation pump meter through the PG&E Net Energy Meter Aggregation (NEMA) program. The system will offset 35% of the aggregated electricity use of the two meters. SolarCraft also assisted the Farm in applying for a Rural Energy for America (REAP) grant to offset up to 25% of the cost of the solar system.

The system consists of 108 Suniva 330-watt solar panels and 3 Fronius 10 kW inverters. The panels were installed on 9 ground mount Osprey modular racking units installed with driven anchors, eliminating the need for concrete footings.

Over the next 25 years, the system will generate over 1.3M kilowatt hours of clean energy, and the electrical portion of the system was also designed to be easily expanded to 86.5kW.

The new solar power system will allow the Farm to avoid production of 2,059,439 lbs. of carbon dioxide emissions per year, which is the equivalent of removing over 3 million miles of driving over the next 25 years. That’s also comparable to the air pollution removed by 18 acres of trees.

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SolarCraft Completes Solar Power Installation at Menlo Park Fire Station

Silicon Valley Fire Station Goes Green and Saves Money

pr-Menlo Park Fire Department_by_SolarCraftNovato and Sonoma based SolarCraft recently completed the installation of a 41 kW DC solar panel installation at the newly constructed Station 2 Menlo Park Fire Department, Menlo Park, CA. The solar panel system will save the Station over $250,000 dollars in energy fees over the next 20 years.

Designed and installed by SolarCraft, the solar photovoltaic system is mounted on the top of a two-story standing-seem roof and consists of 126 American-made, Suniva 325-watt solar panels, providing 53,700 kWh of sustainable solar power annually. The excess energy is fed back to PG&E, reducing the energy pressures on the local power grid.

“This is our first solar project, we are looking forward to the benefits it will bring to the energy consumption and reduction of a modern, working, fire station,” said Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman. “We will be including solar power to all future fire station projects based upon an improved return on investment to the community.”

SolarCraft was selected for their expertise and ability to design and engineer a system to meet the unique demands of the Fire Station for a high-performing reliable system with low operating costs and risks.

Over the life of the system 420 tons of carbon dioxide will be eliminated from the Station’s carbon footprint, which is the equivalent of removing nearly 1 million miles of driving over the next 25 years. That’s also comparable to the air pollution removed by more than 3 acres of trees.

About Menlo Park Fire District
The Menlo Park Fire District, which also serves East Palo Alto, Atherton and unincorporated areas of the county, turns 100 this year. Adding solar and other energy efficiency measures is part of the plans for new construction to grow resources. The newly built Station 2 is critical because it covers an area expected to see the most development over the next 20 years.

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SolarCraft Completes Solar Power System for Cloverdale Unified School District

Sonoma County School Reduces Utility Bill and Saves Money

school solar panelsNovato and Sonoma based SolarCraft recently completed the installation of solar panels on at Washington Middle School in the Cloverdale Unified School District (CUSD), Cloverdale, CA.   The new 102 kW photovoltaic system will reduce their utility grid demand while saving the school district thousands in energy fees every year.

“The voters in Cloverdale passed the Measure G bond in 2010, and one of the main reasons the passage occurred is because the district included solar in its plans,” stated CUSD Superintendent Jeremy Decker.  “We are very excited that we have finally installed our solar panels and followed through with our promise to the community.”

The solar photovoltaic panels are ground-mounted at the Northwest corner of the school property, enclosed by fencing for added protection and security. The students have a first-hand opportunity to see how sunlight is converted to electricity and to learn of the importance for us all to explore the possibility of using renewable resources for our energy.

Solar power offers the CUSD an opportunity to help break away from the budget uncertainty surrounding energy, and to secure decades of reliable energy prices while significantly lowering their carbon footprint. The energy savings can go back towards the important work of education. The solar power system for Cloverdale Unified School district marks SolarCraft’s seventh installation for a Northern California school.

“Anytime that we make improvements to our school sites we always have the environment in mind. Installing solar panels at Washington not only allows us to provide power to a school, while lowering our electricity bill, but it shows our students and community that we are committed to being good stewards of the Earth,” says Jeremy Decker

Designed and installed by SolarCraft, the solar system consists of 312 SunPower 327-watt, high efficiency solar panels, spanning over 5,475 square feet and providing 165,881 kWh of clean, renewable electricity annually. In the first year of operation, the solar panels are estimated to generate more than 73 percent of Cloverdale school district’s electricity needs. That’s about $40,860 in savings every year.

CUSD’s solar power system will generate enough electricity to power 24 average homes and will avoid production of almost 6,505,436 lbs. of carbon dioxide emissions per year, which is the equivalent of removing 10.5 million miles of driving over the next 25 years. That’s also comparable to the air pollution removed by 56 acres of trees.

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Redwood Credit Union

Financial Institution Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

solar panels, santa rosa solar, commercial solar panels

By going solar, Redwood Credit Union will offset about 61% of their utility grid demand and save the company thousands in utility fees every year. The 662 kW solar electric system was installed by SolarCraft at Redwood Credit Union’s administrative offices in Santa Rosa, CA, powering their facility with clean, sustainable solar power.

The solar array consists of 2,036 Suniva 320-watt solar panels, spanning over 42,460 square feet on the rooftop installation. Covering the majority of the rooftop, the solar panels further reduce the building’s heating and cooling load by insulating and protecting the roof.

 SolarCraft designed and installed the system to produce up to 945,097 kWh of clean, solar power annually and will provide an effective long-term hedge against future utility rate increases. Installing solar, a cost-effective and sustainable energy solution, is the latest upgrade to the LEED-certified facility, which has served as the Credit Union’s headquarters since 2007.

Redwood Credit Union’s solar power system will generate enough electricity to power 148 average homes and will avoid production of almost 272 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, which is the equivalent of removing 15 million miles of driving over the next 25 years. That’s also comparable to the air pollution removed by over 54 acres of trees.

solar panels, santa rosa solar, commercial solar panels

System Specifications
System Size 661.7 kW DC
572.8 kW AC
Location Santa Rosa, CA
Solar Panel (2,036) Suniva 325 W
Inverter (1) SMA 12000
(21) SMA 24000
Mounting System SunLink Precision-Modular RMS Ballasted
Estimated Annual kWh 945,097
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile
Redwood Credit Union provides personal and business banking services to anyone living or working in the North Bay or San Francisco.  RCU offers complete financial services including checking and savings accounts, auto and home loans, credit cards, online and mobile banking, business services, commercial and SBA lending, investment and financial planning services and more.

 “The addition of solar is a demonstration of our commitment to sustainable and earth-friendly practices. The additional benefit of long-term savings on power costs allows us to return even greater value to our 240,000 Members.”
~ Brett Martinez, President & CEO, Redwood Credit Union

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