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SolarCraft Completes Commercial PV System for Avalon Natural Products

Petaluma solar energySolarCraft has commissioned a 106-kilowatt photovoltaic system for Avalon Natural Products of Petaluma, the largest manufacturer of natural and organic personal products in the U.S.

The solar electric 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 received a rebate for approximately 50% of the cost from the California Energy Commission and expects to save $35,000 per year in electrical expenses. SolarCraft, headquartered in Novato, engineered and installed the roof-mounted system. The system’s PV panels convert sunlight directly into electricity and will generate approximately 175,000 kilowatt hours of energy annually.

“Our primary reason for installing PV is to help utilize green energy and reduce our dependence on other less clean forms of energy,” said Mark Egide, the President of Avalon. “We’ve calculated that we will get our investment back in ten years or less. The time of payback depends on how much energy prices increase, and I think most people would agree that they will increase each year.” Egide added that installing a solar electric system is important to the culture and values of Avalon Natural Products, which prides itself on social responsibility and only uses pure, organic and cruelty-free ingredients. “Our formulas are naturally derived without animal ingredients, hypoallergenic and biodegradable,” said Egide. “Our packaging utilizes recycled and recyclable materials. For us, installing a solar electric system is simply an extension of our green philosophy.”

SolarCraft installed a non-penetrating roof mounting system, which maintains the integrity of Avalon’s large flat roof. The roof mounting system, manufactured by RWE Schott Solar, is wind tunnel tested up to 130 miles per hour. SolarCraft then installed Schott’s high-performing ASE 300 solar panels, which are guaranteed for 20 years. “The solar panels that we use are very environmentally friendly,” said Chris Bunas, Director of SolarCraft’s Photovoltaic Division. “The panels use no lead or other harsh chemicals, and that also contributes to Avalon’s green ethic. Avalon’s roof gets a lot of sun and the solar panels will also serve as a sunshade, which will lower Avalon’s energy costs during warmer months of the year.”

Egide said his company selected SolarCraft to complete the project because of SolarCraft’s reputation and two decades of solar services in the North Bay market.

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