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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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