Non-Profit Solar Electric Installation Project Profile
Sustainability and the environment are top priorities for Spirit Rock. The decision to install solar energy was driven by environmental benefits, and as a non-profit, stabilizing operating expenses and locking in energy prices were major drivers as well.
Spirit Rock partnered with SolarCraft to install a 116 kW solar electric system. This ground mounted system consists of (335) Sunpower 345- watt high efficiency solar modules, providing renewable energy power to the administrative offices, guest facilities and the meditation hall, reducing Spirit Rock’s utility costs by over 90%.
Through the use of special non-profit friendly financing through SolarCraft, which allows clients to benefit from commercial incentives, they pay less for solar power than they would to PG&E. In financial terms, the system generates positive cash flow immediately. Furthermore, Spirit Rock has the option to pay off the system after year 5 to own it outright.
The system’s solar electric panels are expected to generate approximately 190,700 kilowatt hours of clean energy annually. The system allows Spirit Rock to generate enough electricity each day to power over 27 average homes. The amount of carbon offset by the PV array is equivalent to removing 50 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to eliminating almost 3 million miles of driving or planting 10 acres of trees.
|System Size||116 kW DC
105 kW AC
|Solar Panel||(335) SunPower 335 W|
|Inverter||(3) Power One Trio 27.6|
|Mounting System||All metal with concrete piers|
|Estimated Annual kWh||190,700|
|Cumulative Cash Positive||5–6 Years|
Nestled in the hills of West Marin County, Spirit Rock Meditation Center is dedicated to the teachings of the Buddha as presented in the vipassana tradition. The practice of mindful awareness, called Insight Meditation, is at the heart of all the activities at Spirit Rock. It was founded in 1987 as Insight Meditation West and is visited by an estimated 40,000 people a year. Spirit Rock hosts a year-round schedule of residential retreats, daylong retreats/workshops, benefit workshops, and weekly classes.
“‘Move through the world with care,’ taught the Buddha. Spirit Rock is a generator of metta, sending loving kindness across the world. Now our beautiful sunlight generates clean energy, a new form of care, and a reminder to us all to lovingly tend the earth.”
~Jack Kornfield Co-founder, Spirit Rock Meditation Center
Read more commercial case studies