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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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