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Case Study, Commercial Ground Mount

Commercial Solar Case Study, Robert Young Estate Vineyards & Winery

Winery Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

At Robert Young Estates Vineyards & Winery, energy use made up a significant portion of their operating costs. Looking to lower these costs and expand their sustainability practices, they turned to SolarCraft to design and install a solar power system at their Geyserville, CA winery.

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 usage in the winery, vineyards, residences, and other buildings in the 450-acre estate will be offset by solar energy. This system will immensely reduce the carbon footprint on the estate and save millions of dollars over many years of operation.

The system is ground mounted on a small hillside 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 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.

System Specifications
System Size 190.3 kW DC
171.9 kW AC
Location Geyserville, CA
Solar Panel (582) SunPower 327 W
Inverter (7) SolarEdge SE20KUS
Mounting System SnapNrack Ground Mount
Estimated Annual kWh 315,207
Cumulative Cash Positive 5-6 Years

Customer Profile

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.

 “This solar array system is an important part of our continued commitment to farm and produce wines sustainably for generations to come.”

~Jim Young CEO, Robert Young Estate Vineyards & Winery

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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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Commercial Solar Case Study, Sonoma Academy

School Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

sonoma solar panels, sonoma acadmey

Rising energy costs have profoundly affected nonprofits and schools, which have to adapt to working on tighter budgets without compromising the quality of their important work. By installing a 207 kW solar electric system, Sonoma Academy will save more than $1,280,000 over the next 25 years allowing that money to flow directly back into education.

Sonoma Academy’s solar power system is an example of their intent to create a sustainable future for their students. It will generate enough electricity to power about 50 average homes and avoid production of 6,266 lbs. of carbon dioxide emissions per year — equivalent to removing nearly 5 million miles of driving over the next 25 years and comparable to the air pollution removed by 107 acres of trees.

Designed and engineered by SolarCraft, the project was developed by SolEd Benefit Corp of San Rafael, which was formed with the mission to lower the cost of clean energy for schools and public benefit clients.

“We have wanted to go solar from the founding of the Academy, but we needed to preserve capital for growth of the school,” says Derice Hogel, the Director of Finance & Operations.  “This approach was the winning formula – and it looks as though we will have a nice operating savings as well.”

Rather than buy the equipment or take on debt, Sonoma Academy signed a 25-year Solar Power Purchase Agreement with SolEd Solar Holdings III, LLC to buy the clean energy produced and metered by the solar array. Under present Net Energy Metering rules the school’s meter will be credited at established retail values of energy during the bright summer months and on weekends while it uses little energy, and pays a modest cost (eventually declining) for energy delivered.

System Specifications
System Size 207.1 kW DC
180.4 kW AC
Location Santa Rosa, CA
Solar Panel (753) Suniva 275 W
Inverter (21) HiQ Solar 480w
Mounting System RBI ground mount with earth screws
Estimated Annual kWh 322,590
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile
Sonoma Academy is the only independent, college preparatory high school in Sonoma County. On its beautiful 34-acre campus nestled at the base of picturesque Taylor Mountain in South Santa Rosa, Sonoma Academy students are able to explore their interests and passions in a challenging environment that prepares them for college and life beyond. The Academy has undertaken a program of environmental excellence, aiming for a zero net-energy standard for its new facilities.

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Liberty School

School Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

petaluma solar panels, solar for schoolsLiberty School is generating its own electricity from sunlight thanks to its 44.7 kilowatt solar installation. Located in West Petaluma, CA, the school’s solar photovoltaic array will reduce their carbon footprint and save thousands of dollars in energy costs for years to come.

The system spans over 2,600 square feet on multiple rooftops, specifically designed by local architect Dan Hardin to accommodate solar.

Enphase Energy microinverters, donated by the Petaluma-based worldwide leader in microinverter technology, will work individually with the system’s 149 LG solar panels to ensure maximum energy production. The school received approximately $24,000 in rebates — one of the last California Solar Initiative rebates available before the program expired.

The system will power classrooms and administrative offices, providing about 70 percent of the school’s annual electrical needs by generating approximately 66,000 kilowatt hours of clean energy annually — enough each day to power over 20 average homes. The amount of carbon offset by the PV array is equivalent to removing 29 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be comparable to eliminating nearly 1.7 million miles of driving or the amount roughly 9 acres of trees could remove.

 

solar panels, petaluma, solar for schools

System Specifications
System Size 44.7 kW DC
39.7 kW AC
Location Petaluma, CA
Solar Panel (149) LG 300 W
Inverter (149) Enphase Energy M250
Mounting System SnapNRack
Estimated Annual kWh 66,000
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile

Liberty School, nestled in the rural, dairy ranching area of Petaluma, 50 miles north of San Francisco in Sonoma County, serves pre-k through sixth grade students. Founded in 1857, Liberty School is the oldest school in continuous operation at the same site, with the same name, in Sonoma County. Liberty is the community hub where families meet and build relationships. Many families have been attending Liberty School for generations.

“We are very excited to finish our project with SolarCraft and Enphase Energy and begin saving our local community thousands of dollars that can be better used to educate the students of the Liberty Valley.”
~Christopher Rafanelli, Superintendent/Principal Liberty School

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Congregation Shomrei Torah

House of Worship Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

Designed and built by SolarCraft, Congregation Shomrei TorahThe Congregation wanted to go solar for a few years for all the right reasons, and a new financing option introduced by SolarCraft that is very favorable to non-profits gave them a financial incentive as well. Essentially, the financing payments for the solar power are less than paying PG&E each month.

Designed and built by SolarCraft, the North Bay Synagogue’s system will reduce their carbon footprint while saving thousands in utility costs in the years to come.

The solar photovoltaic system is ground mounted on a hillside below the building and consists of 104 SunPower high-efficiency solar panels spanning nearly 2,180 square feet. The system’s solar panels convert sunlight directly into electricity and is expected to generate approximately 56,100 kilowatt hours of energy annually, reducing their PG&E bills by 90% and providing clean energy to the Synagogue.

The system’s solar electric panels allow the Congregation to generate enough electricity each day to power 17 average homes. It will spare the air nearly 25 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually. Over 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to eliminating over 1.4 million miles of driving.

 

cs-img-shomrei-torah2

System Specifications
System Size 34 kW DC
30 kW AC
Location Santa Rosa, CA
Solar Panel (104) SunPower 327 W
Inverter (1) Power One 27.6 kW
Mounting System Custom Ground Mount with concrete piers
Estimated Annual kWh 56,100
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile

Donald Hess established his first Napa Valley vineyard on Mount Veeder in 1978, and from the beginning, under his stewardship, The Hess Collection has been a leader in sustainability. Certified Sustainable by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance and for both winery and vineyards by Napa Green, The Hess Collection is well known for combining twin passions under one roof at its historic home on Mount Veeder, where both The Hess Collection Winery and the world renowned Hess Collection Art Museum welcome visitors.

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Napa Valley Country Club

Golf Course Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

Napa Solar Power, solar panels Napa Valley Country ClubIn keeping with its practice as a sustainable business and to reduce the operating budget, Napa Valley Country Club has gone solar. SolarCraft both designed and installed the 251 kW solar power system at Napa Valley Country Club in Napa, CA. The picturesque, private golf course is now powered by renewable, green energy — saving the Club thousands in utility costs every year.

The solar electric system is ground mounted on a hillside above the golf course. It consists of 870 high-efficiency solar panels spanning a total of 17,610 square feet. The system’s solar electric panels are expected to generate approximately 363,000 kilowatt hours of energy annually. Excess power generated during the day is banked by PG&E for credit towards future use.

The new solar power system allows Napa Valley Country Club to generate enough electricity each day to power over 57 average homes. It will spare the air nearly 105 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to eliminating more than 6 million miles of driving.

The Napa Valley Country Club no longer needs to worry about volatile energy pricing swings and will enjoy free energy from the sun for many decades to come.

Napa Solar Electric, solar panels Napa Valley Country Club

System Specifications
System Size 250.8 kW DC
223.6 kW AC
Location Napa, CA
Solar Panel (700) Renesola 300 W
(170) Yingli 240 W
Inverter (7) SMA STP24000TL-US
(2) SMA STP15000TL-US
Mounting System SnapNrack Ground Rail
Estimated Annual kWh 363,000
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile

Napa Valley Country Club is the only entirely private country club in Napa County. Nestled in the hills of the Coombsville area of Napa Valley this 6,148-yard, par 72-layout rolls through the countryside in grand fashion. The original front nine fairways were cut out of tall grass with wild oats as rough in 1917 by a group of Napa Valley businessmen. The back nine was completed in 1990, designed by Ronald Fream. Gorgeous scenery, an abundance of wildlife, and beautiful natural surroundings make a round at Napa Valley Country Club seem more like a stroll through a nature wonderland.

 

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Dana Estates Vineyard & Winery

Winery Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

commercial solar panels, Dana Estates, RutherfordIn addition to producing award-winning wines, Dana Estates Vineyard & Winery practices organic farming and stewardship of the land. The benefits from the sun’s renewable energy was the perfect fit.

SolarCraft was selected to design and install a 190 kW solar electric installation for their winery in Rutherford, CA. Dana Estates is now powered by free energy from the sun, providing significant savings for their Napa Valley vineyards and winery.

The project consists of six ground-mounted systems at several vineyard locations in the Rutherford/St. Helena area and the main winery facilities, offsetting close to 100% of their total electricity usage. Combined, the systems utilize a total of 800 Trina 235-watt panels generating approximately 300,250 kilowatt hours of energy annually.

Each of the 800 solar modules is controlled by a micro-inverter, 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 new solar energy system will enable Dana Estates to generate enough electricity each day to power over 81 average homes. It will spare the air nearly 117 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to eliminating over 8.1 million miles of driving.

commercial solar panels, Dana Estates Vineyard, Rutherford

System Specifications
System Size 190 kW DC
162 kW AC
Location Rutherford, CA
Solar Panel (800) Trina 235 W
Inverter (800) Enphase Energy M215
Mounting System IronRidge racking
Estimated Annual kWh 300,250
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile
Dana Estates is located in the heart of Rutherford in the Napa Valley. The winery has been constructed around the original stone walls built in 1883 by vintner H.W. Helms.This is a “winemaker’s winery” and is set up entirely with their vineyards and small lots in mind. The Dana Estates’ 2007 Lotus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon was one of just a few bottles to earn a perfect score of 100 points from wine critic Robert Parker.

“At Dana Estates the solar offset of our energy needs goes hand in hand with our Certified Organic Vineyards and our natural approach to winemaking. SolarCraft, as a local solar installer, was a clear choice for us. The local, hands-on management and detail oriented employees made the install easy and efficient.”
~ Cameron Vawter, Director of Production, Dana Estates

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Commercial Solar Case Study, The Sea Ranch

Community Association Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

solar panels, Sea Ranch, CAThe Sea Ranch Association (TSRA) in The Sea Ranch, CA is a Northern California community known for the natural architecture that blends with the landscape and preservation of the environment. These ideals led to TSRA to choose solar — a technology that is lowering their operating costs through energy savings and reducing their carbon footprint.

The 90 kW solar electric system at TSRA is comprised of two separate systems. One system powers the administration offices. This system is 25.2 kW, consisting of 105 high-efficiency SunPower 240 watt solar panels installed on the roof of the administration building. Each of the 105 solar modules is controlled by a micro-inverter, manufactured by Enphase Energy of Petaluma, CA. The micro-inverters greatly reduce impacts of shade from nearby trees and generate about 7% more power than conventional inverters. Overall system efficiency is increased by 10-12%.

The second system is ground mounted and will provide power to the Association’s water treatment plant. It will generate 64.8 kW of power and consists of 240 SunTech 270 watt panels.

The new solar energy system is expected to produce 125,222 kWh annually and will enable TSRA to generate enough electricity each day to power over 39 average homes. It will spare the air nearly 57 tons of harmful greenhouse gases every year. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to eliminating over 4 million miles of driving.

solar power, Sonoma County, CA

System Specifications
System Size 90 kW DC
78 kW AC
Location The Sea Ranch, CA
Solar Panel (105) SunPower 240 watt
(240) SunTech 270 watt
Inverter (105) Enphase Energy M210
(1) Solectricia PV 106kW
Mounting System SnapNrack (Roof) PanelClaw (Ground)
Estimated Annual kWh 125,222
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile
The Sea Ranch is an unincorporated community of private homes along a 10-mile stretch of the Sonoma County coast in Northern California. More than 1,700 houses are situated on bluffs, in meadows, on hillsides, and in the forest. It’s noted for its distinctive architecture of simple timber-frame structures clad in wooden siding or shingles, which blend into the landscape. The community’s development played a role in the establishment of a concept of “Living lightly on the Land.”

“The installation went smoothly and we are amazed at the ease of monitoring and the information provided. The Sea Ranch Association is very satisfied with the product, the staff at SolarCraft, and the carbon footprint reduction we are thus far achieving.”
~ Randy H. Burke, Director of Works, The Sea Ranch Water Company / Association

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Medtronic

Corporate Business Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

solar panels, Santa Rosa, CATo control rising energy costs and employ environmentally conscious business practices, Medtronic flipped the switch to solar. Novato and Sonoma-based SolarCraft designed and installed the 321 kW solar electric system at the main Santa Rosa campus of Medtronic, a global leader in medical technology. The company’s primary North Bay facility, located in the Fountaingrove area of Santa Rosa, is now partly powered by free energy from the sun.

The new energy system offsets electric usage at the main building and the testing labs, providing an expected net-savings of approximately $1.8 million over the next 20 years. The ground-mounted system utilizes 1,344 SunTech 275-watt panels and spans more than 28,100 square feet. The system will generate approximately 560,000 kilowatt hours of energy annually, providing clean power for Medtronic’s operations and reducing the strain on the local utility grid during peak usage hours.

The system will enable Medtronic to generate enough electricity each day to power more than 186 average homes. It will spare the air nearly 250 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to eliminating more than 16 million miles of driving or planting 50 acres of air-filtering trees.

With a 25-year warranty and 30 year design life, this solar power system will provide sustainable, clean energy for decades to come.

groundmount solar energy, Medtronic

System Specifications
System Size 369.6 kW DC
321.7 kW AC
Location Santa Rosa, CA
Solar Panel (1,344) SunTech 275 W
Inverter (1) Satcon PVS 135
(2) Satcon PVS 100
Mounting System Ironridge Solar
Estimated Annual kWh 560,000
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile

Medtronic, Inc. (www.medtronic.com), headquartered in Minneapolis, is committed to alleviating pain, restoring health and extending life. Medtronic’s Santa Rosa-based businesses make coronary stents and aortic stent grafts, among other medical devices and technology used in the treatment of cardiovascular disease.

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Sterling Vineyards

Winery Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

solar panels, Sterling VineyardsSterling Vineyards’ 72 kW solar electric system in the Napa Valley was both designed and installed by SolarCraft. Sterling’s famed aerial tram is now powered by the sun. The aerial tram at Sterling is the only one of its kind in Napa Valley, offering stunning views as visitors ride up to the winery, perched 300 feet above the town of Calistoga.

The 72 kW solar electric system at Sterling is comprised of two separate solar energy systems. One system will power Sterling’s aerial tram. This system is 55.5 kW, consisting of (264) SunPower PowerGuard 210 watt insulated solar roof tiles installed on the roof of the Reserve Winery located at the bottom of the hill. SunPower PowerGuard solar roof tiles provide reliable, clean electricity while insulating and protecting the roof. The added insulation saves up to 30% more energy by reducing the building’s heating and cooling load.

The second system is ground mounted and will provide power to the winery’s water treatment facility. It will generate 16.5 kW of power and consists of (72) SunPower high efficiency 230 watt panels.

The new system will enable Sterling Vineyards to generate enough clean electricity each day to power 36 average homes. The new system will spare the air nearly 64 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to driving over 4.3 million miles. The system will pay for itself in 5-6 years.

System Specifications
System Size 277 kW DC
235 kW AC
Location Napa, CA
Solar Panel (1632) Sharp 170 W
Inverter (2) SatCon 135 kW
Mounting System Unirac — Sunframe
Estimated Annual kWh 395,442
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile
Sterling’s iconic winery is perched high above the town of Calistoga on a mid-valley hill. Sterling Vineyards is well known for offering guests the most unique winery tour in Napa Valley. From the aerial tram up the mountain to the bold beauty of the winery’s Greek-inspired architecture, from the comprehensive self-guided tour to the stunning wines themselves, Sterling Vineyards has attracted visitors for over 30 years. Sterling Vineyards wine is produced by Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines (DC&E), part of Diageo, the world’s leading premium drinks business.

“Sterling has long had a commitment to sustainable farming practices and a concern for preserving our unique Napa environment. The conversion of the memorable Sterling Tram to clean, renewable solar power just makes environmental and economic sense. This is another step in our overall commitment to increase our conservation efforts.”
~ Michael Westrick, VP Winemaking, Sterling Vineyards

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Jacuzzi Family Vineyards

Winery Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

groudmount solar panel arrayThe 124 kW solar electric system at Jacuzzi Family Vineyards is comprised of two separate solar energy systems. Each system uses 374 Mitsubishi Electric 165 watt panels and one Satcon 50 kW inverter, for a total system use of 748 solar panels and 2 inverters.

Going solar is part of Jacuzzi Family Vineyard’s commitment to environmentally conscious business and sustainable farming practices. Mitsubishi Electric solar panels are the most eco-friendly solar panels available. They are the first to use 100% lead-free solder in their solar panels.

The system is 124 kW DC power and is CEC rated at 103 kW AC power. The solar electric system will produce an estimated 185,130 kWh annually, not including any additional production from the tracking array which could potentially add an additional 37,026 kWh annually, for a total of 222,156 kWh.

The new solar energy system generates enough clean electricity each day to power 82 average homes. The new system will spare the air nearly 91 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually, or 2,726 tons over the life of the system. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to driving over 6.3 million miles. This is equivalent to planting over 18 acres of trees.

Each of the two systems connects to a separate PG&E electric meter, each of which provides electricity to the Jacuzzi Winery Building and the water well and fire pumps. There are two main PG&E meters servicing the entire property, thus the two separate solar energy systems.

pole mounted solar panelsOne solar energy system provides nearly 100% of the electricity for the water well and fire pumps. This 61.7 kW system is comprised of two different mounting systems that hold the solar panels in a fixed position facing directly south. Single pole mount & ground mount structures were used due to limited ground space. The single pole mounting was used to ensure the panels were above any tree shading.

The second structure consists of long rows of ground-mounted panels east to west. Located in the south and southeastern section of the solar field, both are fixed mounted, tilted directly south.

The remaining 61.7 kW portion is mounted on a single axis tracking system, allowing the solar panels to follow the sun throughout the day, providing 15–20% more energy production. This system provides electricity to the winery building and is located closest to the building, mounted in long rows north to south.

A solar energy panel produces the greatest amount of electricity when it is perpendicular to the sun — as opposed to an angle. A single axis solar tracking system enables the solar panels to follow the sun as it travels through the sky each day. The panels start the morning facing east where the sun rises, at noon they are flat, finally facing west at the end of the day. The system returns to east at sundown and waits for the whole process to begin again the next morning. This system requires more square footage, so it was determined that only the winery building will get a tracking system due to space constraints.

The system is currently the largest test case known for comparison between tracking and fixed arrays with identical equipment on the same site. SolarCraft will be monitoring the system very closely with a remote monitoring system and using the data to determine the exact benefits versus cost of tracking systems.

The system is expected to pay for itself in 6 years. By taking advantage of the federal tax credit, state rebates, and accelerated depreciation, Jacuzzi Vineyards was able to reduce the total system cost by nearly 75%.

winery solar groundmount panels

System Specifications
System Size 53.6 kW DC
46.1 kW AC
Location San Anselmo, CA
Solar Panel (32) Centrosolar 235 W
(192) Centrosolar 240 W
Inverter (224) Enphase Energy M215
Mounting System SnapNrack / Custom
Estimated Annual kWh 90,000
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile

The beautiful 18,000-square-foot, rustic-Italian stone structure at Jacuzzi Family Vineyards was inspired by the Jacuzzi family home in Udine, Italy. The winery sits on 190 acres in the Carneros region of Sonoma at Arnold Drive across from Cline Cellars.

The winery honors the family, Italian immigrants, who came to America in the early 1900s. Owned and operated by descendants of the Jacuzzi family of well pump and spa fame, the winery produces 18 different wines under the Jacuzzi Family labels.

“Our commitment to sustainable business practices is extremely important to us and it’s a great feeling to know that our winery is being powered by solar energy. Overall, I am impressed with how painless the process was from start to finish.”
~ Fred Cline, Jacuzzi Family Vineyards

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Dutcher Crossing

Winery Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

winery solar panelsSolarCraft both designed and built this 33 kW solar electric system for the Dutcher Crossing Winery in Healdsburg, CA. The project integrates both the winery building and Estate House on the property — now powered by the sun.

The system consists of (195) Mitsubishi 170 watt solar panels — both ground and roof mounted. The 2,680 square feet of high capacity solar panels will generate roughly 33 kilowatts peak power. The system will generate enough electricity to virtually eliminate expensive peak-period usage, while also selling excess power back to the local utility company for credit. The credits are sold to the utility company at peak rates and the customer uses them back during nights and winter.

Dutcher Crossing’s new solar system generates enough clean electricity each day to power 14 average homes. The new system will spare the air nearly 25 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually, or 741 tons over the life of the system. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to driving over 1.7 million miles. This is equivalent to planting over 5 acres of trees. The system will pay for itself in approximately 6 years.

winery solar electric

System Specifications
System Size 33 kW DC
28 kW AC
Location Healdsburg, CA
Solar Panel (195) Mitsubishi 170W
Inverter (5) SMA SB 6000US
Mounting System Custom
Estimated Annual kWh 50,000
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile

Dutcher Crossing has come to represent an authentic and enjoyable experience for wine-lovers who visit this small winery. Dutcher Crossing Winery was conceived and built by the Nevins and Stevens families following their purchase of the Dry Creek vineyard property in 2001. Proprietor Debra Mathy, who is an environmental enthusiast, joined the Dutcher Crossing Family in March 2007.

The Dutcher Crossing winemaking style is best described as “Hand Crafted”. The wines receive the hands-on attention required to produce wines of the exceptional quality that exhibit the intense flavors and character of each varietal.

“Our commitment to improving the environment and sustainable farming practices is extremely important to us at Dutcher Crossing. We are excited to inform our customers that we have recently installed a solar energy system at the winery with the goal of being energy independent. The system was designed by SolarCraft to esthetically blend in to our beautiful natural vineyard surrounding.”
~ Jim Stevens, Dutcher Crossing Vineyards

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Cline Cellars

Winery Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

winery solar panelsBoth designed and built by SolarCraft of Novato, California, this large commercial solar electric system will provide 100% of the winery’s annual electricity consumption for its production facility in Carneros, CA.

The custom engineered aluminum mounting structure works well with the structural capacity of the winery’s steel warehouse and fermentation buildings, while giving the panels a slight tilt to the south. The winery’s roof is roughly 50,000 square feet and now supports 1974 Sharp 208 watt solar panels. The 34,625 square feet of high capacity solar panels will generate roughly 411 kilowatts peak. The system will generate enough electricity to completely eliminate expensive peak-period usage, while also selling excess power back to the local utility company for credit. The credits are sold to the utility company at peak rates and the customer uses them back during nights and winter.

SolarCraft assisted Cline with the applications for the solar energy rebate program with the Public Utilities Commission. In March 2005 the PUC approved the project and the system was installed.

Cline Cellars’ goal is to be energy independent — creating predictable energy and costs. Towards that goal, SolarCraft first assessed and reduced the winery’s energy demands. SolarCraft advised Cline Cellars to install energy saving lights throughout the facility, and an insulating urethane foam roof that reduces cooling costs in the summer by up to 30 percent. The winery also contracted SolarCraft to completely upgrade its electrical infrastructure to support the increased capacity.

groundmount solar panels in winery vineyard

System Specifications
System Size 411 kW DC
351 kW AC
Location Sonoma, CA
Solar Panel (1974) Sharp 208W
Inverter (1) AE Solaron 333 kW
Mounting System Unirac — Sunframe
Estimated Annual kWh 586,000
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile

Cline Cellars is a family owned and operated winery that produces super and ultra-premium wines in the Carneros district of Sonoma Valley. The winery specializes in handcrafted Zinfandels and Rhone style wines that are bold and well structured and sourced from their vineyards in Sonoma and Contra Costa Counties. Cline Cellars produces and markets wines under the following labels: Cline Cellars, Red Truck and White Truck.

Just 45 minutes north of San Francisco in Sonoma’s premier wine country, Cline Cellars was once the site of a Miwok Village and the first camp of the Sonoma Mission.

“SolarCraft worked with us every step of the way. We are very happy with the form and function of the panels. This has been a win-win project from the beginning. The winery is eliminating huge energy bills, flat-lining our operating budget for energy costs and improving air quality by reducing 690,000 lbs. of noxious greenhouse gases per year. Project timing was ideal to capture both the state rebate incentive and new federal tax credits.”
~ Peggy Phelan, Director of Operations, Cline Cellars Vineyard

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Paramount Farms

Agriculture Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

agriculture solar energy, California Central ValleySolarCraft both designed and built this 1.1 Megawatt solar energy system for Paramount Farms, Inc., the world’s largest vertically integrated supplier of pistachios and almonds, at their Lost Hills, CA orchards and processing facility.

The system utilizes groundmounted, UniSolar® Amorphous Thin Film Photovoltaic (PV) panels. Spanning 8 acres, it is one of the largest single-site, privately-owned solar energy systems in the U.S.

The new solar energy system enables Paramount Farms to generate enough clean electricity each day to power 502 average homes. The new system will spare the air nearly 885 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually, comparable to planting over 177 acres of trees. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to driving over 61.1 million miles.

Paramount’s goal is to utilize green energy and create predicable energy and costs. Stewardship of the environment has always been a core value of Paramount Farms. Groundbreaking research and development has led the way to pioneering advances in agriculture and orchard management, including the reduction of pesticide use by nearly 50% and water conservation.

California Central Valley solar power

System Specifications
System Size 1,116 kW DC
1,004 kW AC
Location Lost Hills, CA
Solar Panel (8,208) UniSolar
136W
Mounting System Custom
Estimated Annual kWh 1,613,089
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile
Paramount Farms, a company with a long established history building successful produce brands including Sunkist® California Pistachios, a top seller; and Sunkist® Almond Accents,® the leading flavored, sliced almond topping. Their 28,000 acres of pistachio orchards are the largest in the Western Hemisphere. And in a state famous for its almonds, they are proud to be California’s largest almond grower, with more than 24,000 acres of permanent almond orchards. That’s more than four million trees producing in excess of 30 billion nuts annually.

“Paramount Farms, a leader in the farming community, is committed to a balanced green strategy, one that utilizes clean energy to reduce costs and improve efficiency. We’re pleased to break ground on the first phase of a long-term, comprehensive, solar-power initiative.”
~ Dave Szeflin, Vice President, Operations

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