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Archive for solar energy

Hog Island Oyster Co. Now Powers 80% of Operations with Solar Power

Acclaimed West Marin Oyster Company Sees the Light

Novato and Sonoma based SolarCraft recently completed the installation of a 90 kW DC solar installation at the very popular Hog Island Oyster Company on scenic Tamales Bay in Marshall, CA. The West Marin County oyster farm now powers over 85% of its operations and retail oyster bar with clean, renewable energy, saving thousands in energy costs every year.

Not only does solar help the climate, but the oysters themselves, as well as other shellfish, by reducing the amount of C02 that is absorbed by the ocean. Increased C02 in the water causes acidification, decreasing oysters’ ability to make their shells.

“Our industry depends on water quality,” said Terry Sawyer, Hog Island Oyster Company Co-founder.  “We are on the front line of oceanic changes due to C02 absorption from fossil fuels, which directly affect an oyster’s ability to form a shell. We have urged others to find alternative forms of energy and we are walking the walk.” Sawyer continues, “Our site had several challenges including the corrosive environment of the salt water and several historic, aging buildings. We have high electrical loads at our facility and we wanted to offset that usage, but it had to make financial sense. SolarCraft is very experienced and knowledgeable; they presented us with several scenarios that met those challenges. Their Operations team was very professional & easy to work with.”

Designed and installed by SolarCraft, the solar photovoltaic system is mounted on multiple roof tops and engineered to solve the difficult challenges presented by the coastal location such as high winds and salt mist corrosion. The solar photovoltaic system consists of 260 rugged, high-efficiency SunPower 345-watt solar panels. The complex design makes the most of Solar Edge inverters which maximize energy harvest from the system overall, using optimizers that manage the output of each module. Furthermore, the power optimizers monitor the performance of each module and communicate performance data to a monitoring portal.

During the life of the system over 2,570 tons of carbon dioxide will be eliminated from the Hog Island’s carbon footprint, which is the equivalent of removing 8.4 million miles of driving over the next 25 years. That’s also comparable to the air pollution removed by 44 acres of trees.

About Hog Island Oyster Company
Started in 1983 with a five-acre shellfish lease and partners John Finger and Terry Sawyer at the helm, Hog Island Oyster Co. has grown to become one of the premiere producers of certified sustainable shellfish. With 160 acres in Tomales Bay plus a seed and hatchery operation in Humbolt Bay, Hog Island harvests and sells over 3.5 million oysters, Manila clams and mussels each year. Over 200 employees cultivate, shuck and serve an exceptional oyster experience at Hog Island locations in Marshall, Napa and San Francisco.

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SolarCraft Completes Solar Power Installation at Robert Young Estate Vineyards & Winery

Sun Shines on Alexander Valley Vineyard

solar power installation, solar for wineries, Robert Young Winery

Novato and Sonoma based SolarCraft announced the completion of a 190 kW solar electric panel system at Robert Young Estate Vineyards & Winery in Geyserville, CA. This historic Alexander Valley property is now powered by renewable, clean energy while enjoying lower utility costs.

Now, with a 190 kW solar power system, electrical use on all contiguous parcels of the 450-acre estate will be offset. In other words, with virtual net metering, most energy usage by Robert Young Estate winery, vineyards, residences, and other buildings will be offset by solar energy. This solar power system will immensely reduce the carbon footprint on the estate and save millions of dollars over many years of operation.

Jim Young, CEO of Robert Young Estate Vineyards & Winery said “This solar array system is an important part of our continued commitment to farm and produce wines sustainably for generations to come.”

The solar photovoltaic system is ground mounted on a small hillside at the west end of the vineyards and consists of 582 SunPower high-efficiency 327-watt solar panels. The system’s solar panels convert sunlight directly into electricity and is expected to generate approximately 315,207 kilowatt hours of emissions-free electricity each year, eliminating most of their electrical costs.

The system’s solar electric panels allow the Winery to generate enough electricity to spare the air more than 12 million lbs. of C02 gases annually. Over 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to eliminating over 20 million miles of driving. That’s comparable to the air pollution removed by 106 acres of trees.

About Robert Young Estate Vineyards & Winery
Immigrating from upstate New York to California for the Gold Rush, Peter Young, grandfather of Robert Young, settled on a 206-acre ranch southeast of Geyserville, California in 1858. He was among the pioneers who literally built the community of the Alexander Valley. From wheat and cattle to prunes and now wine grapes, throughout six generations, the Scions of Robert Young have sustained a unique balance of dedication to and preservation of the land.

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SolarCraft Appoints New President/CEO

North Bay Solar Energy Leader Sees Very Bright Future

SolarCraft President/CEO Avner DaabulNovato and Sonoma-based SolarCraft, a leader in solar electric and solar pool heating system installation, announced today the appointment of Avner Daabul as the new President/CEO.  Mr. Daabul brings more than 20 years of leadership and experience in the electrical and renewable energy field to his new role having previously served as Director of Operations at SolarCraft.

Beginning July 1, Daabul will replace Bill Stewart who is stepping down from handling day to day activities as SolarCraft has transitioned to a wholly employee owned and operated company.  Stewart will retain the title of Chairman and will still be working on behalf of SolarCraft as well as continuing efforts to promote the solar industry.

”Avner has proven to us all that he has the skills and dedication to take this leadership position”, says Bill Stewart, President.  “I sincerely feel that the new management team of long time employees who know the business is in the best interest of the company.  The ESOP allows Dennis Nuttman and I to step aside as the company continues to operate and thrive, driven by the spirit of employee ownership.”

SolarCraft has also announced several key additions to the new management team with promotions of Pat Knoff to Controller and Brian Costa to Director of Operations.

As Daabul takes the reigns during this exciting time in the Company’s evolution, SolarCraft is well position to continue its growth and gain market share in the ever expanding solar energy market.  “I am honored and appreciate the opportunity to help lead the continued growth of SolarCraft,” said Daabul.  “I look forward to working closely with our outstanding team in the coming months to ensure a smooth transition and a successful future for SolarCraft.”

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