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Archive for Petaluma solar energy

SolarCraft Installs Solar Power for St. James Catholic Church of Petaluma

North Bay Church Saves Thousands with Solar Electricity

SolarCraft solar panel installation at St. James Catholic Church of Petaluma

Sonoma and Novato-based SolarCraft announced the completion of a 26 kW solar panel system at St. James Church of Petaluma, CA.  Designed and built by SolarCraft, the North Bay Church’s system will reduce their carbon footprint and offset almost 100% of their PG&E usage.

The solar system is ground mounted in a visible location near the parking area, demonstrating to the Congregation the Church’s commitment to the environment and sustainability.   The solar system will reduce the church’s electricity bill by over $9,000 in its first year of operation.

The array is comprised of 96 Suniva 270-watt solar panels.  Each of the 96 solar panels is controlled by a microinverter, manufactured by Enphase Energy of Petaluma, CA.  Microinverters are small, compact units directly attached to each solar panel to convert power independently at the panel, maximizing energy production and reducing impacts from shading.   Overall system efficiency is increased by 10 – 12%.

The Church’s solar electric panels will spare the air nearly 30 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually.  Over 25 years the system is estimated to offset 873,840 kWh of electricity and the air pollution saved will be equivalent to eliminating over 2.4 million miles of driving or planting 13 acres of trees.

About St. James Catholic Church of Petaluma

St. James Catholic Church was the second Catholic Church built in Petaluma. It was founded in 1964 and dedicated in 1966. Its architecture is reminiscent of the adobe structures built by early settlers, and the interior is finished in redwood, acknowledging its location in the heart of the redwood empire.  There have been three pastors in its history: Fr. Charles O’Leary, Fr. Michael Cleary, and Fr. Michael Culligan. All three priests were born in Ireland. Just as the Irish are famous for their faith and friendliness, you’ll find those virtues in the parish of St. James.

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Liberty School

School Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

petaluma solar panels, solar for schoolsLiberty School is generating its own electricity from sunlight thanks to its 44.7 kilowatt solar installation. Located in West Petaluma, CA, the school’s solar photovoltaic array will reduce their carbon footprint and save thousands of dollars in energy costs for years to come.

The system spans over 2,600 square feet on multiple rooftops, specifically designed by local architect Dan Hardin to accommodate solar.

Enphase Energy microinverters, donated by the Petaluma-based worldwide leader in microinverter technology, will work individually with the system’s 149 LG solar panels to ensure maximum energy production. The school received approximately $24,000 in rebates — one of the last California Solar Initiative rebates available before the program expired.

The system will power classrooms and administrative offices, providing about 70 percent of the school’s annual electrical needs by generating approximately 66,000 kilowatt hours of clean energy annually — enough each day to power over 20 average homes. The amount of carbon offset by the PV array is equivalent to removing 29 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be comparable to eliminating nearly 1.7 million miles of driving or the amount roughly 9 acres of trees could remove.


solar panels, petaluma, solar for schools

System Specifications
System Size 44.7 kW DC
39.7 kW AC
Location Petaluma, CA
Solar Panel (149) LG 300 W
Inverter (149) Enphase Energy M250
Mounting System SnapNRack
Estimated Annual kWh 66,000
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile

Liberty School, nestled in the rural, dairy ranching area of Petaluma, 50 miles north of San Francisco in Sonoma County, serves pre-k through sixth grade students. Founded in 1857, Liberty School is the oldest school in continuous operation at the same site, with the same name, in Sonoma County. Liberty is the community hub where families meet and build relationships. Many families have been attending Liberty School for generations.

“We are very excited to finish our project with SolarCraft and Enphase Energy and begin saving our local community thousands of dollars that can be better used to educate the students of the Liberty Valley.”
~Christopher Rafanelli, Superintendent/Principal Liberty School

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