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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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