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Commercial Solar Case Study, Sweetwater Spectrum

Non-profit Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

 An innovative residential community in Sonoma, CA geared specifically for adults with autism, Sweetwater Spectrum was developed with environmental stewardship in mind. To help facilitate and promote energy efficiency, a 51 kW solarSonoma solar power Sweetwater Spectrum electric and solar pool heating system was installed by SolarCraft to provide the community with clean, sustainable energy.

 SolarCraft offers unique financing options for non-profits, to eliminate high upfront costs. The finance payments are typically less than paying PG&E, so the projects save money immediately.

The solar electric system is roof-mounted on four residential buildings and the community center. It consists of high-efficiency solar panels spanning a total of 3,600 square feet. A separate solar heating system greatly reduces the cost of heating the pool.

Designed to LEED Gold standards, in addition to solar power the homes and community structures at Sweetwater Spectrum were constructed using durable, low-VOC building materials and finishes, solar water heating and radiant cooling/heating systems. In fact, the community is a pilot project for the PG&E Net Zero Energy Pilot Program.

The system’s solar electric panels are expected to generate approximately 73,000 kilowatt hours of energy annually. The new solar energy system allows Sweetwater Spectrum to generate enough electricity each day to power over 12 average homes. It will spare the air nearly 20 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to eliminating more than a million miles of driving.Sweetwater Solar Pool Panels

System Specifications
System Size 51.0 kW DC
44.3 kW AC
Location Sonoma, CA
Solar Panel (204) SunTech 250 W
Inverter (15) SMA SB4000US
Mounting System SnapNrack / SNR Seam Clamp
Estimated Annual kWh 73,000
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile

Sweetwater Spectrum, in the heart of downtown Sonoma, CA, is the first residential community in the nation to be geared specifically for autistic adults, providing an innovative, supportive residential community that will challenge each individual to reach his or her highest potential.

Communal features include a therapy pool and hot tub, greenhouse, and a 2,300-square-foot activity center complete with workout equipment, art and music room, and a teaching kitchen. The concept reinforces Sweetwater Spectrum’s mission of helping adults with autism live a “life with purpose”, both at home and in their communities.

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