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Archive for Case Studies – Page 2

Sonoma Solar Energy Case Study, Yungerman Family

SolarCraft Shaves 94% from the Yungerman Family’s Electric Bill

residential solar energy

Project Overview
Location Sonoma County, CA
System Size 7.2 kW
Surface Area 430 sq. ft.
Product SunPower 225 watt
Production 10,629 kWh/year
# of Solar Panels 32

Tim and Jeanette Yungerman are no strangers to solar power. SolarCraft installed a solar pool heating system on their home in 1984 and it’s still going strong! Familiar with the economic and environmental benefits of renewable energy, they once again turned to SolarCraft. The Yungermans installed their system with $0 down and no out-of-pocket expenses through the Sonoma County Energy Independence Program (SCEIP). The solar electric panels were installed adjacent to the existing solar thermal panels on the south facing roof for optimal production for both systems. The Yungerman family now enjoys a warm pool and clean energy from the sun, while saving more than $200 a month on their energy bills and protecting against future rate increases.

solar savings chartBenefits

  • Saves the Yungerman family over $2,400 per year in energy costs
  • Reduces home electricity usage by 94%
  • $0 Down and no out-of-pocket expenses with the Sonoma Energy Independence Program (SCEIP)
  • Installed adjacent to existing thermal panels for maximum solar production
  • Will reduce CO2 emissions by over 6 tons annually, equivalent to eliminating 16,000 miles of driving.

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Novato Solar Energy Case Study, Kern Family

Kern Family’s Electric Bill Slashed by 65%

residential solar energy

Project Overview
Location Marin County, CA
System Size 5.6 kW
Surface Area 420 sq. ft.
Product Sharp 235 watt
Production 8,165 kWh/year
# of Solar Panels 24

For this stunning Novato residence, design was a key factor. In order to maintain the high aesthetics of the property, and also reach the energy goals and optimal performance, SolarCraft designed a system featuring low-profile Sharp panels with Enphase micro-inverters. A typical system features strings of panels connected to one inverter. Enphase microinverters optimize each panel’s performance greatly reducing impacts of shade and generating about 7% more power than conventional inverters. Overall system efficiency is increased by 10–12%.

The Kerns received their first electric bill after going solar and it showed a 65% saving! The Kern’s solar system will provide free energy from the sun for many years while insulating them from future rate increases.

solar savings chartBenefits

  • Saves Kern family over $2,772 in electric bills annually
  • Shields the Kerns from electrical rate increases
  • Will realize ROI in 6-7 years
  • Panels provide additional roof insulation
  • Will reduce CO2 emissions by 3.5 tons annually, equivalent to planting an acre of air-filtering trees

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Goldeneye Winery

Winery Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

winery roofmount solar panelsGoldeneye Winery’s 32.4 kW solar electric system in Philo was both designed and installed by SolarCraft. The winery, in the heart of Mendocino’s Andersen Valley, is now powered by the sun.

The solar electric system at Goldeneye consists of 144 SunPower 225 watt solar panels that will power Goldeneye’s winemaking operations with renewable, green energy. The roof-mounted system spans 2,100 square feet and is expected to generate 49,460 kilowatt hours annually. The solar panels provide clean electricity while insulating and protecting the roof. The added insulation saves energy by reducing the building’s heating and cooling load.

The new system will enable Goldeneye Winery to generate enough clean electricity each day to power over 14 average homes. It will spare the air nearly 25 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to driving over 1.7 million miles. The system will pay for itself in approximately 6 years.

solar panels winery

System Specifications
System Size 32.4 kW DC
28.6 kW AC
Location Philo, CA
Solar Panel (144) SunPower 225 W
Inverter (6) SMA SB 6000US
Mounting System ProSolar on S-5!
Estimated Annual kWh 49,460
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile

Goldeneye was founded in 1996 by Duckhorn Wine Company and is dedicated to crafting Pinot Noir wines in California’s acclaimed Anderson Valley winegrowing region. Goldeneye’s estate program consists of five estate vineyards, planted to 19 clones on 11 different rootstocks, giving the winery a rich and diverse palette of fruit from which to produce its wines. Duckhorn Wine Company is a collection of small winery estates focused on site-specific wines of distinction. The Duckhorn Wine Company family includes Goldeneye, Duckhorn Vineyards and Paraduxx. Duckhorn Wine Company wines are available throughout the United States and internationally.

“Because Goldeneye is dedicated to crafting world-class Pinot Noir from the Anderson Valley, our relationship with the environment is extremely important to us. As a result, when we set out to design and build a cutting-edge, energy-efficient winery, incorporating solar was a major part of our design criterion. Not only does the array SolarCraft installed for us sustainably address our energy usage, it also helps to mitigate our impact on the Earth in a way that reflects our identity, and our commitment to the Anderson Valley.”
~ Courtney Dyar, Operations Manager, Duckhorn Wine Company

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Napa Solar Energy Case Study, Kuehl Family

SolarCraft Saves the Kuehls More Than $780 a Month with Clean Solar Power

residential solar energy

Project Overview
Location Napa County, CA
System Size 16.2 kW
Surface Area 1,380 sq. ft.
Product Mitsubishi 185 watt
Production 11,289 kWh/year
# of Solar Panels 88

Tiffany Kuehl, Office Manager at Napa Electric in Napa, California, knows the importance of energy efficiency. With electric bills averaging $900 a month, the majority of her home’s energy usage was in the top rate tiers. Tiffany and her husband John decided to go solar to save money and reduce their carbon footprint. To offset their electric bills they had SolarCraft install a 16.2 kW solar electric system. A ground mount system was the best solution, utilizing the land available on their large property. The Kuehls received their first electric bill after going solar and it was only $117, an 87% savings! The Kuehls solar electric system is virtually maintenance-free and will provide free energy from the sun for decades to come.

solar savings chartBenefits

  • Saves Kuehl family over $9,400 in electric bills annually
  • Shields the Kuehls from electrical rate increases
  • Will realize ROI in 6 years
  • Will reduce CO2 emissions by 460 tons annually, equivalent to not driving over 5.9 million miles

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Miss Sandie’s School

School Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

solar energy, schoolMiss Sandie’s School in Novato is now powered by solar! SolarCraft both designed and installed a 16.6 kW solar electric system for the school providing green, renewable power to the facility. Miss Sandie’s School now utilizes clean energy from the sun, which is environmentally friendly, sustainable and price stable.

Miss Sandie’s new solar energy system is highly reliable and easy to maintain. The school is now insulated from energy price hikes, improving their bottom line and easing the strain on future budgeting.

The newly installed solar electric system utilizes (84) Sharp 198 watt solar panels. The low-profile racking system, black frame and hidden hardware create a sleek appearance. Its clean, elegant structure blends beautifully with the school’s roofline.

The solar electric system is expected to generate 23,950 kilowatt hours annually, and spans over 1,338 square feet.

Miss Sandie’s solar electric system will enable them to generate enough clean electricity each day to power 7 average homes. The new system will spare the air nearly 12 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually, equivalent to the air filtering of 3 acres of trees. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be comparable to driving over 852,000 miles.

solar panels school, Novato, CA

System Specifications
System Size 17 kW DC
14 kW AC
Location Novato, CA
Solar Panel (84) Sharp 198W
Inverter (2) SMA SB 7000US
Mounting System Sharp SRS
Estimated Annual kWh 23,950
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile
Miss Sandie’s School, located in Novato, has over 30 years of experience in early childhood development and education. It’s located in a safe, quiet and friendly residential neighborhood surrounded by walnut trees. The recently remodeled campus has some of the largest and most modern play yards in the county. Miss Sandie’s provides students with the opportunity for intellectual, social and physical growth in a safe, nurturing, supportive and fun environment.

“SolarCraft recently installed a photovoltaic system at my preschool. The entire process was so smooth. The system has eliminated our electric bill and the kids love the fact that their school is powered by the sun. SolarCraft was very accommodating and worked around our school schedule to avoid any inconvenience to my staff and students.They handled every detail from permits to filing for rebates. Every person from SolarCraft was fantastic to work with, there is no question that I would use them again.”
~ Kent Grady, Owner, Miss Sandie’s School

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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, North Bay Storage

Storage / Multi-tenant Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

solar panels North BaySolarCraft both designed and installed this 35 kW solar electric system for North Bay Self Storage and Southpoint Lofts in Petaluma, CA, providing an estimated 85% of the facility’s annual electricity needs.

The company’s building is 78,000 square feet and now supports (208) 170 watt Mitsubishi solar panels. The 3,000 square feet of high capacity solar panels will generate roughly 35 kW peak power. By utilizing existing roof space to generate electricity on site, North Bay is helping to reduce peak electricity demands for others, while exhibiting sustainable business practices. The system will generate enough electricity to virtually eliminate 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 the night.

Managing partners, Gary Arnstein and Robert Curtis, plus many of their investors have a commitment to using sustainable energy sources. “We are going solar because we think it’s the right action to take given the environmental crisis that our planet is in the midst of.”

The solar electric system will enable the facility to generate enough clean electricity each day to power 15 average homes. The new system will spare the air nearly 26 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually, equivalent to the air filtering of 5.3 acres of trees. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be comparable to driving over 1.8 million miles.

North Bay solar panels

System Specifications
System Size 35 kW DC
30 kW AC
Location Petaluma, CA
Solar Panel (208) Mitsubishi 170W
Inverter (6) SMA SB 6000US
PTC Rating 233,628
Estimated Annual kWh 51,710
Cumulative Cash Positive 6–7 Years

Customer Profile
North Bay Self Storage and Southpoint Lofts is a multi-use property with both storage and offices. The facility opened in November 1999, with 513 storage units all equiped with fire sprinklers and alarms. Additionally, they have 12 office tenants. The facility is state of the art and adding solar is a socially conscious statement. The tenants are pleased that common areas will be powered with solar energy. North Bay is one of the first storage facilities to use solar energy and feel it is a positive step that other facilities should take.

“We think that going solar makes good financial sense in the face of anticipated ongoing rate increases from PG&E. SolarCraft had an edge because of their many years of experience in the solar business. Another reason for choosing SolarCraft was their impressive list of references.”
~ Gary Arnstein, Managing Partner, North Bay Self Storage and Southpoint Lofts

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Dahl-Beck Electric

Commercial Business Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

commercial solar panelsSolarCraft both designed and installed the 83 kW solar electric system for Dahl-Beck Electric in Richmond, CA. The third generation family owned and operated electric motor repair facility is now powered by the sun.

The newly installed Dahl-Beck solar electric systems utilizes (272) SunPower 305 watt solar panels. The ProSolar Tilt racking system positions the panels at an angle to maximize energy capture from the sun. The solar electric system is expected to generate 124,573 kilowatt hours annually, and spans over 3,642 square feet.

The facility’s solar electric system will enable them 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, equivalent to the air filtering of 13 acres of trees. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be comparable to driving over 4.4 million miles. A sound investment, the system will pay for itself in approximately 7 years.

commercial solar installation

System Specifications
System Size 83 kW DC
73 kW AC
Location Richmond, CA
Solar Panel (272) SunPower 305W
Inverter (1) PV Powered – 75 kW
Mounting System ProSolar Tilt
Estimated Annual kWh 124,573
Cumulative Cash Positive 6–7 Years

Customer Profile

Dahl-Beck Electric is a third generation family owned and operated electric motor repair facility that prides itself on business ethics, technical knowledge and customer satisfaction. They have been in continuous operation by the Beck family since 1933 and this experience is what separates them from other motor repair facilities. The Dahl-Beck Electric service staff is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

“Running our Richmond, CA facility consumes mass amounts of electricity and it seemed each month our PG&E bill was continuing to rise. So, we bit the bullet on this politically correct “Green Thing” and decided to do our part for the environment and at the same time help our bottom line. We began researching solar companies who we felt comfortable working with and could educate us on the benefits of this alternative energy source — we gave the nod to SolarCraft. They were able to closely stick to the schedule they initially proposed and kept us informed every step of the way. We freely interacted with their dedicated group of installers who worked diligently to complete the project on time and on budget — mission accomplished. We know the right decision was made in choosing SolarCraft.”
~ Roger Beck, President, Dahl-Beck Electric

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Trione Vineyards

Winery Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

Geyserville, CA winery solarTrione Vineyards & Winery’s 39.2 kW solar electric system was both designed and installed by SolarCraft. The winery’s new tasting room and production facility in Geyserville, CA are now powered by the sun.

Trione’s new 11,700 square foot facility now supports 210 Sharp 187 watt solar panels. SolarCraft utilized Sharp’s OnEnergy™ racking system. Its sleek design is engineered to sit low to the roof, improving the visual appearance of the system. The complete installation blends handsomely into the roof, becoming an integrated part of the building. The solar energy system will provide up to 50% of the winery’s annual electrical needs.

The new solar system will enable Trione to generate enough clean electricity each day to power 17 average homes. The new system will spare the air nearly 29 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually, or 880 tons over the life of the system. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to driving over 2 million miles. This is equivalent to planting over 6 acres of trees. The system will pay for itself in approximately 6 years and will continue to provide free, clean, renewable energy for decades to come.

winery solar power

System Specifications
System Size 39 kW DC
33 kW AC
Location Geyserville, CA
Solar Panel (210) Sharp 187W
Inverter (5) SMA SB 7000US
Mounting System Sharp OnEnergy
Estimated Annual kWh 53,477
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile
For 35 harvests, for 35 Septembers, the Trione family has carefully farmed and managed some of the finest grapes in Sonoma County. With painstaking devotion to the land, three generations — Henry Trione, sons Mark and Vic, and Mark’s daughter Denise — have developed a reputation for producing premium grapes.

The Old Stone Winery building, the centerpiece of Trione Vineyards & Winery, is one of the oldest winery tasting rooms in the county. Recently seismically retrofitted, records show it has been in operation since 1935.

“Our decision to go solar followed our original plan to combine technology, aesthetics, and good use of materials in the construction of the winery. From a financial standpoint, the decision was easy – we expect the installation to provide 50% of our electrical needs, saving us over $750,000 over its lifetime. We chose SolarCraft because they are a sound regional firm, and we’ve seen examples of their work. The installation went smoothly, and it looks terrific. We highly recommend SolarCraft for your solar needs.”
~ John Hamann, Treasurer, Trione Vineyards & Winery

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Hamilton Marketplace

Shopping Center Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

shopping center solar powerThe highly anticipated new Hamilton Marketplace Complex in Novato, built on the former site of Nave Lanes, created even more excitement by powering the shopping center with clean, green, renewable energy. SolarCraft designed and installed a 35.4 kilowatt solar energy system at Hamilton Marketplace and now all common areas, certain parking lot areas and walkways are powered by 100% solar energy.

The 94,000-square-foot center now supports 165 high efficiency SunPower 215 solar modules. The new system is expected to generate 53,174 kilowatt hours annually and spans 2,210 square feet. There is potential for each tenant to purchase individual solar energy systems to power their space with green, clean power.

The SunPower T10 Solar Roof Tile tilts at a 10-degree angle to increase energy capture. They are non-penetrating and lightweight, highly durable and resistant to high wind speeds up to 120 mph.

The solar electric system will enable the Hamilton Marketplace Complex to generate enough clean electricity to spare the air nearly 31 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually, equivalent to the air filtering of 6.2 acres of trees. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be comparable to driving over 2.1 million miles. A sound investment, the system will pay for itself in approximately 6 years and will continue to provide free, clean, renewable energy for decades to come.

solar power shopping center

System Specifications
System Size 35 kW DC
31 kW AC
Location Novato, CA
Solar Panel (165) SunPower 215W
Inverter (5) SunPower 6000m
Mounting System SunPower T10 Roof Tile
Estimated Annual kWh 53,174
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile

Grosvenor USA Limited, a British development and investment group with offices in San Francisco, acquired the property in 2005 and broke ground on the site in 2006. The shopping center includes a 60,000 square foot Safeway, a Safeway gas station, Wells Fargo Bank, Peets Coffee, several restaurants and a host of other retailers. Hamilton Marketplace is the retail centerpiece of redevelopment of the former Hamilton Air Force Base, which was decommisioned in 1974, and used since for residential and commercial purposes.

“By implementing renewable energy at Hamilton Marketplace we are significantly reducing our dependence on grid-supplied electricity and minimizing our impact on the environment. Further, we are decreasing our risk exposure to escalating energy costs. Our decision to use SolarCraft stemmed from their commitment from day one to educating Grosvenor on the specifics of solar power and how best to successfully harness it to power Hamilton Marketplace. Given their expertise and experience, they made our first, and definitely not last, foray into ‘going solar’ incredibly easy.”
~ Whitney Sylvester, LEED AP/Development Coordinator

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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, Raymond Burr Vineyard

Winery Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

winery solar panelsIn keeping with its policy of “living lightly on the land,” one of Sonoma County’s best-known boutique wineries has gone solar. Raymond Burr Vineyards chose SolarCraft to design and install their 36 kilowatt solar electric system to power operations for the premium winemaking and exotic orchids facilities. Both designed and built by SolarCraft, this solar electric system is designed to provide 100% of the winery’s annual electricity consumption for its operation in the Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma, CA.

The photovoltaic (PV) system will power major winery operations, including the tasting room, storage facilities, and two greenhouses. Two homes on the Dry Creek Valley property will also be run by the solar electric system, ensuring 100% of the annual electric needs for operations. Raymond Burr Vineyards received a commercial installation rebate of approximately 50% of the cost of the system and expects to save up to $11,000 per year in electrical expenses. Robert Benevides, owner of the Vineyard, says he decided to install the system to complement the Vineyard’s current environmental practices, as well as to save money on its operations costs. The system is expected to pay for itself in just over 6 years.

Benevides said the system would also help to control costs at the Vineyard. “Wineries certainly do use a lot of power,” he said. “We have to irrigate the grapes, which means during the summer we have pumps going almost continually. Our tasting room is open seven days a week, and we have power throughout the tasting room and storage facilities.

The project included an energy saving polyurethane foam roof before the solar electric system was installed. The system was installed on multiple buildings that required comprehensive electrical engineering as well as new electrical feeds.

Raymond Burr sign

System Specifications
System Size 36 kW DC
31 kW AC
Location Sonoma, CA
Solar Panel (208) Sharp 175W
Inverter (1) PV Powered 2800
(6) PV Powered 5200
Mounting System Custom
Estimated Annual kWh 45,000
Cumulative Cash Positive 6 Years

Customer Profile
The Raymond Burr Vineyard, originally founded by Robert Benevides and the actor Raymond Burr of the hit 50s television show “Ironside”, now showcases multiple award winning wines from a truly beautiful vineyard.

The grapes were planted in 1986: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and, for the proprietors, a small section of Port — the bare-root stock imported from Portugal. The vineyard is also home to Mr. Benevides’ world renowned classic orchid farm.

“I am a lifelong member of the Sierra Club, and I have always been an environmentalist. Our winery is a no-tool vineyard that is insecticide free. Solar is a great way to go and will expand our environmental portfolio. Wineries need to reduce their impact on the environment and solar is one way to do it. We want those who enjoy our wines to know they were made with green power.”
~ Robert Benevides, Owner, Raymond Burr Vineyard

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Scottish Rite

Assembly Building Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

solar power, Santa RosaSolarCraft both designed and built this 31 kW solar electric system for the Scottish Rite Masonic Center in Santa Rosa, providing unlimited clean energy to the facility.

SolarCraft installed the OnEnergy™ system by Sharp. The solar electric systems utilizes (168) Sharp 187 kilowatts solar panels. The OnEnergy system uses a unique racking design that streamlines installation and improves the aesthetics of the system. The ultra-low profile design is highly visible from the road and very pleasing to the eye.

The Scottish Rite’s new system is expected to generate 44,950 kilowatt hours annually, and spans 2,677 square feet, providing the majority of the electric needs for the Santa Rosa facility.

The solar electric system will enable the Scottish Rite facility to generate enough clean electricity each day to power 13 average homes. The new system will spare the air nearly 23 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually, equivalent to the air filtering of 5 acres of trees. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be comparable to driving over 1.6 million miles. A sound investment, the system will pay for itself in approximately 6 years.

solar electric, Sonoma County

System Specifications
System Size 31 kW DC
26 kW AC
Location Santa Rosa, CA
Solar Panel (168) Sharp 187W
Inverter (4) SMA SB 7000US
Mounting System Sharp SRS
Estimated Annual kWh 44,949
Cumulative Cash Positive 6 Years

Customer Profile
The Scottish Rite is a branch of Freemasonry designed to supplement and amplify the philosophical teachings of the first three degrees. The Scottish Rite claims to build upon the ethical teachings and philosophy of Blue Lodge Masonry through dramatic presentation. The Scottish Rite is sometimes called the “University of Freemasonry” because it uses extensive allegory and drama in its Degrees to explore the philosophy, history, ethics and ultimate truths that guide Freemasons’ lives.

For over ten years, the Scottish Rite Masons, Northern Jurisdiction, have been national leaders in the effort to help children and their families overcome the painful obstacles of dyslexia.

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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, Cal Ave Partners

Multi-tenant Office Building Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

commercial office building solarCal Avenue Partners’ 261 kW solar electric system by SolarCraft consists of 1,536 Suntech 170 watt solar panels and will provide enormous savings for their 85,000 sq. foot building in Corona, CA.

The 21,563 square feet of panels enable Cal Avenue Partners to generate enough clean electricity each day to power 109 average homes. The new system will spare the air nearly 191 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually. This is comparable to planting 38 acres of trees. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to driving over 13.2 million miles.

“This is the second project for this customer and we are in the planning stages of a third,” says Chris Bunas, VP Solar Electric Division for SolarCraft. We are extremely excited to have had another opportunity to work with Mr. Gordon; he has proven to be a great customer, as well as an asset to SolarCraft.”

commercial solar, Corona, CA

System Specifications
System Size 261 kW DC
217 kW AC
Location Corona, CA
Solar Panel (1536) SunTech 170W
Inverter (1) SatCon 225 kW
Mounting System Non-penetrating
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile

“Solar energy is good for the environment and the reduction of greenhouse gases is good for the community,” says partner, Mark Gordon. “SolarCraft completed the job on time and on budget.”
~ Mark Gordon, Cal Ave Partners

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Avalon Natural Products

Commercial Business Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

Solar panels at Avalon Natural Products, PetalumaSolarCraft both designed and installed this 124 kilowatt solar electric system for Avalon Natural Products of Petaluma, CA, the largest manufacturer of natural and organic personal products in the U.S.

This SolarCraft PV system provides 100% of Avalon’s electricity needs on an annual basis for the company’s 55,000 square foot office and distribution center. Avalon will save some $35,000 per year in electrical expenses.

SolarCraft engineered and installed the proprietary non-penetrating roof mount system. The roof mounting system, manufactured by RWE Solar, is wind tunnel tested to well over 100 miles per hour. The mounting system’s main benefit is that it does not require thousands of holes to be drilled through the roof for attachments. The entire system is interconnected and self-ballasted by its own weight, eliminating the need for heavy ballast blocks.

The new system will enable Avalon to generate enough clean electricity each day to power 53 average homes. The new system will spare the air nearly 94 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually, comparable to planting over 19 acres of trees. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to driving over 6.4 million miles.

Solar panels closeup, Petaluma, CA

System Specifications
System Size 124 kW DC
106 kW AC
Location Petaluma, CA
Solar Panel (392) ASE 300 – 315W
Inverter (1) Xantrex PV100
Mounting System RWE Solar non-penetrating
Estimated Annual kWh 145,000
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile

Headquartered in Petaluma, California, Avalon Natural Products manufactures and distributes a unique collection of quality personal care products for caring consumers seeking natural, organic and cruelty-free ingredient alternatives within the vegetarian ethic. Avalon Natural Products are made with pure ingredients that are organically grown and cruelty-free. The formulas are naturally derived without animal ingredients, hypoallergenic, and biodegradable. Packaging utilizes recycled and recyclable materials. Avalon’s product lines include Avalon Organics, Avalon Organic Botanicals, Alba Botanica, Sonoma Soap, Unpetroleum, and Tisserand Aromatherapy.

“We selected SolarCraft to complete the project because of their reputation and two decades of longevity in the marketplace. SolarCraft is one of the Bay Area’s pioneering solar energy companies.”
~ Mark Egide, President, Avalon

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Marin Builders Association

Commercial Business Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

solar panels, Marin BuildersMarin Builders Association (MBA) 24.5 kW solar electric system by SolarCraft provides 50% of the Association’s electricity needs on an annual basis. The MBA solar electric systems utilizes 144 Sharp 170 watt solar panels and a ballasted, non-penetrating mounting system.

The new system enables MBA to generate enough clean electricity each day to power 10 average homes. The new system will spare the air nearly 18 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually. This is comparable to planting 4 acres of trees. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to driving over 1.3 million miles.

MBA received a rebate for approximately 32% of the cost from the California Energy Commission, as well as 30% federal tax credit. A very wise investment, the system will pay for itself in approximately 6 to 7 years.

“Being chosen by the organization representing professional builders in Marin to install this system was quite an honor,” says Chris Bunas, VP Solar Electric at SolarCraft. “With energy costs skyrocketing, smart organizations like the Marin Builders Association are now looking for ways to reduce and set their facility operations expenses for the long term. With 25 year warranties and 40+ year design life on the major system components, this system will save the Association money for many years to come.”

Marin Builders solar panels closeup

System Specifications
System Size 25 kW DC
20 kW AC
Location San Rafael, CA
Solar Panel (144) Sharp 170W
Inverter (4) SMA SB 6000US
Mounting System Non-penetrating
Estimated Annual kWh 43,999
Cumulative Cash Positive 6–7 Years

Customer Profile

Marin Builders Association was created in 1958 to encourage excellence in the quality of service provided by the building industry in Marin County, to maintain high professional and ethical standards among MBA members, and to obtain, coordinate and disseminate information essential to those in the building industry.

“As a leader in the Green Building field, this project is ideal for our organization and our community. I would encourage others in the building trades to consider the benefits of installing a solar system.”
~ Klif Knoles, General Manager, MBA

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Woodlands Market

Grocery Store Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

Woodlands Market solar powerBoth designed and built by SolarCraft of Novato, California, this solar electric system is now the largest grocery store solar electric system in California.

The large commercial solar electric system will provide approximately 25% of the annual electricity consumption in the store’s Kentfield, CA location. The store’s roof is roughly 20,000 square feet and now supports (536) Sharp 167W and (210) Sharp 140W solar panels. The aluminum mounting structure was custom engineered to work with the wooden barrel truss type roof on the top of the building, while the more stylish residential type solar panels fit perfectly flush on the front façade of the store.

The 10,000 square feet of solar panels will generate roughly 116 kilowatts peak. 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.

The new system will enable Woodlands Market to generate enough clean electricity each day to power 51 average homes. The new system will spare the air nearly 90 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually, comparable to planting over 19 acres of trees. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to driving over 6.2 million miles. The system will accrue more than 1.5 million dollars in cost savings over the course of its 40-year life.

grocery store solar panels

System Specifications
System Size 116 kW DC
102 kW AC
Location Kentfield, CA
Solar Panel (210) Sharp 140W
(536) Sharp 167W
Inverter 23 Fronius IG 4500LV
Mounting System Unirac — Sunframe
Estimated Annual kWh 145,000
Cumulative Cash Positive 6–7 Years

Customer Profile
Don Santa founded Woodlands Market in 1986. Over the years the Kentfield-based grocery store grew in its success with help from members of the Santa family, including Don’s father, mother, three sisters, and wife. The business model is based on the belief that investing in the community brings greater returns in customer loyalty and word-of-mouth benefits that go beyond simple advertising.

Today, Woodlands Market continues to operate as an independent, family owned grocery store; it has overcome the odds through bold thinking, community support programs and the loyalty of its local customers and employees.

“The health and well being of our community and coworkers is important to our family and business. Part of our mission is to minimize our impact on the environment.

From a business perspective, we must make sound investments and our switch to solar is paying off. It’s the right choice for our family, community and our business. We selected SolarCraft for this project because they were clearly one of the top companies in the industry. They have proven to have been an excellent choice.”
~ Don Santa, President, The Woodlands Store, Inc.

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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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Commercial Solar Case Study, Wellington Vineyards

Winery Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

Sonoma County solar winerySolarCraft both designed and built this 30 kW solar electric system for Wellington Vineyards in Glen Ellen, CA, providing 100% of the winery’s annual electricity needs.

The winery’s building is roughly 5,000 square feet and now supports (174) Mitsubishi 170 watt solar panels. These solar modules comply with the highest environmental standards, using reliable, lead-free fabrication techniques that improve the power efficiency. The 2,400 square feet of high capacity solar panels will generate roughly 30 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 when needed, such as during nights and winter.

A certified Sonoma County Green Business, utilizing green energy was Wellington’s primary motivation for installing the PV system.

Wellington’s new solar system will generate enough clean electricity each day to power 12.5 average homes. The new system will spare the air nearly 22 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually, comparable to planting over 4 acres of trees. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to driving over 1.5 million miles.

solar power winery

System Specifications
System Size 30 kW DC
26 kW AC
Location Glen Ellen, CA
Solar Panel (174) Mitsubishi 170W
Inverter (5) SMA SB 6000US
Mounting System ProSolar
Estimated Annual kWh 40,586
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile
Wellington Vineyards is a family winery owned by the father and son team, John and Peter Wellington. They practice sustainable agriculture, using a blend of organic and traditional farming practices that promote healthy vines and a healthy environment. The estate vineyards consist of 21 acres, 8 of which are 81 to 113 years old, with the most common being Zinfandel, Carignan, Alicante Bouschet, Grenache and Syrah. In addition, there are 10 acres of 11 to 16 year old vines that consist of Merlot, Chardonnay, Marsanne, and Syrah.

Wellington’s first vintage was 1989. Close to 50% of their wine is sold through the tasting room; availability elsewhere is and will continue to be extremely limited.

“It’s the right thing to do. Solar energy is good for the environment and the reduction of greenhouse gases is good for the community. With the financial incentives, it’s a no-brainer. SolarCraft was chosen for the job based on their reputation and long track record in the industry.”
~ Peter Wellington, Co-Owner, Wellington Vineyards
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Commercial Solar Case Study, San Marin Associates

Commercial Office Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

solar office buildingThe 31 kilowatt solar electric system powers the entire building, providing 100% of the electric needs on an annual basis. The system is expected to save the owners nearly $10,000 per year in electrical costs.

In preparation for the solar electric system, San Marin Associates installed a new foam flat roof. SolarCraft designed the system with Sharp Electronics solar panels, which were mounted on stanchions and placed on the roof at a slight angle to improve energy generation. A mansard around the top of the building adds a visual barrier so that the panels can’t be seen from the street.

Oser said the partners viewed installing the solar electric system as a good investment. “We are looking to own the building for a long, long time, and eventually will be paid back handsomely for having it,” he added.

Mr. Oser said San Marin Associates selected SolarCraft based on the company’s twenty-four plus years of experience installing solar energy systems. Mr. Oser has a multi-generational experience with SolarCraft; the company previously installed solar pool heating systems for his family as well as that of his parents.

The new system enables San Marin Associates to generate enough clean electricity each day to power 13 average homes. The new system will spare the air nearly 23 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually, comparable to planting over 4.5 acres of trees. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to driving over 1.6 million miles.

solar energy, Marin County

System Specifications
System Size 31 kW DC
26 kW AC
Location Novato, CA
Solar Panel (178) Sharp 175W
Inverter (10) PV Powered 2800
Mounting System Custom
Estimated Annual kWh 45,000
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile
The San Marin Associates office facility is owned by San Marin Associates, a partnership that includes Leslie Anixter, Jack Bell, Denise Billings and Peter Oser. Located at 205 San Marin Drive in Novato, CA the 6600 square foot office building houses eight businesses, including insurance agencies, a dentist, a travel agency, a photographer, a manufacturer’s rep, and a nonprofit organization.

“The system is good for us and good for our tenants. Our electric bill is thousands of dollars each year and is going to go up over time. Sunlight, on the other hand, is free, and is good for the environment. The system will eventually pay for itself and we are adding value to our building. It’s good for our tenants because we won’t have to pass energy increases along to them.”
~ Peter Oser, Partner

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