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The Light Shines on Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose

Novato and Sonoma based SolarCraft recently completed the installation of a 271 kW DC solar installation at the Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose, in Fremont, CA. The system is expected to offset 65% of the power usage in the new LEED Gold certified St. Joseph Residence and Dominican Center. The building officially opened on the Motherhouse campus in March 2016. The photovoltaic (PV) system will help the Sisters save over $9,000 every month in electrical costs.
SolarCraft presented financing options, which are favorable for non-profits and deliver sound financial returns. Essentially, solar power finance payments are lower than monthly PG&E bills. The system also dramatically reduces the Sisters’ climate footprint, supports their values, and allows them to apply these savings toward their mission and projects.

“As Dominican Sisters we use the term “care of creation” to describe our environmental commitment to attend to the needs of our fragile Mother Earth and planetary home,” said Sister Gloria Marie Jones, former Congregational Prioress. “When we outlined plans to build a residence and community center, solar power generation became an important part of the project, reducing our carbon footprint and lowering operating costs. The SolarCraft team helped us maximize these benefits, providing an affordable and dependable energy solution for our 26-acre Motherhouse home and campus.”

Designed and installed by SolarCraft, the solar photovoltaic system is mounted on multiple, custom engineered solar shade structures, which now act as protective carports for the Sisters’ and visitors’ vehicles. The solar PV system consists of 829 high-efficiency SunPower 327-watt solar panels, designed to produce 391,657 kilowatt hours annually.

SolarCraft also donated nine 200-watt solar modules to power a reactivated well, which is used to irrigate campus landscapes and gardens.

During the life of the system, almost 7,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide generated by campus operations will be eliminated. This impact is equivalent to removing air pollution produced by over 16 million miles of driving over 25 years or the pollutants removed by 261 acres of trees in one year.
About Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose

The Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose are an international congregation of women religious. They express their Catholic faith through educational, social justice and care of creation ministries, faithfully responding to the needs of the times and serving “the young, the poor and the vulnerable.” To learn more visit

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SolarCraft Brings Solar Power to Cloverleaf Ranch

Sun Shines on Celebrated Sonoma County Camp

Commercial solar panels installed by SolarCraft

Novato and Sonoma based SolarCraft recently completed the installation of solar panels at Cloverleaf Ranch in Santa Rosa, CA.  Located on 160 acres of oak tree dotted hills and grazing land in Sonoma County, the camp is now powered by renewable energy, saving the environment from 22 tons of carbon emissions every year.

The 17 kW solar photovoltaic system is ground-mounted on a hillside overlooking the surrounding vineyards at the camp.  Designed and installed by SolarCraft, the solar system consists of 52 SunPower 327-watt, high efficiency solar panels, providing 28,589 kWh of clean, sustainable electricity annually.

Shawna DeGrange was excited about the addition to the ranch and went on to explain, “While we are a very traditional camp, with traditional values, we want the community to know that we are also changing with the times. Our goal is not only to take care of our environment, but instill that appreciation of the outdoors to our youth. My goal is to add lesson planning in the camp program in a fun, educational setting to teach them the value of alternative power sources.”

Cloverleaf Ranch switched to solar power to reduce their carbon footprint and to create a better, more sustainable future for its campers and the community.

Cloverleaf’s solar power system will generate enough electricity comparable to avoiding production of over 44,848 lbs. of carbon dioxide emissions per year, which is the equivalent of removing 1.8 million miles of driving over the next 25 years.  That’s also comparable to the air pollution removed by more than 10 acres of trees.

About Cloverleaf Ranch
Cloverleaf Ranch originated in 1947 as a working ranch, and has become a “home away from home” for thousands of children and adults from all over the world for over half a century. The Ranch has continued to provide fun and excitement with the goal of changing lives for the better.  They offer an equestrian program, aquatics, sports program activities and other activities such as campouts, hiking, ropes course, arts and crafts, and many more great activities. Today, in addition to its award-winning horse boarding and riding programs, Cloverleaf ‘s rustic, charming ranch is home to Sonoma County’s Premiere Summer Camp Program.

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Novato Solar Energy Case Study, Selchau Family

Energy-independent Selchau Family Charges EV with Sun’s Free Energy

residetial solar ambassador


Project Overview
Location Novato, CA
System Size 4 kW
Surface Area 281 sq. ft.
Product Renesola 250 watt
Production 5,777 Wh/year
# of Solar Panels 16

The Selchau family took energy conservation measures before installing a solar PV system, including purchasing an Electric Vehicle (EV). Enjoying clean driving and lower fuel expenses, the Selchau family was still concerned about high energy prices, global warming and achieving energy independence. Solar power for their home was an easy decision.

After speaking to several solar integrators, the Selchau family chose SolarCraft, for its professional service, longevity and knowledge in the industry. After they flipped the switch to solar, they realized immediate savings with a 92% reduction in their monthly electrical bill. Now they can charge their EV any time and with skyrocketing energy prices, not having a fuel or electric bill is a big plus.

Roof mounted, the solar panels help protect the roof as well as help insulate the home. The system consists of 16 solar panels, each controlled by an Enphase micro-inverter. In this configuration, each panel is linked to a micro-inverter to maximize energy production and reduce the impact from shading. Overall system efficiency is increased by 10 – 12%.

solar panels for homesBenefits

  • Saves the Selchau family nearly $2,400 in electric bills annually
  • Shields the Selchau’s from future electrical rate increases
  • Will reduce CO2 emissions by 2.5 tons annually, equivalent to eliminating over 6,000 miles of driving each year.

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Commercial Solar Case Study, Redwood Credit Union

Financial Institution Solar Electric Installation Project Profile

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By going solar, Redwood Credit Union will offset about 61% of their utility grid demand and save the company thousands in utility fees every year. The 662 kW solar electric system was installed by SolarCraft at Redwood Credit Union’s administrative offices in Santa Rosa, CA, powering their facility with clean, sustainable solar power.

The solar array consists of 2,036 Suniva 320-watt solar panels, spanning over 42,460 square feet on the rooftop installation. Covering the majority of the rooftop, the solar panels further reduce the building’s heating and cooling load by insulating and protecting the roof.

 SolarCraft designed and installed the system to produce up to 945,097 kWh of clean, solar power annually and will provide an effective long-term hedge against future utility rate increases. Installing solar, a cost-effective and sustainable energy solution, is the latest upgrade to the LEED-certified facility, which has served as the Credit Union’s headquarters since 2007.

Redwood Credit Union’s solar power system will generate enough electricity to power 148 average homes and will avoid production of almost 272 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, which is the equivalent of removing 15 million miles of driving over the next 25 years. That’s also comparable to the air pollution removed by over 54 acres of trees.

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System Specifications
System Size 661.7 kW DC
572.8 kW AC
Location Santa Rosa, CA
Solar Panel (2,036) Suniva 325 W
Inverter (1) SMA 12000
(21) SMA 24000
Mounting System SunLink Precision-Modular RMS Ballasted
Estimated Annual kWh 945,097
Cumulative Cash Positive 5–6 Years

Customer Profile
Redwood Credit Union provides personal and business banking services to anyone living or working in the North Bay or San Francisco.  RCU offers complete financial services including checking and savings accounts, auto and home loans, credit cards, online and mobile banking, business services, commercial and SBA lending, investment and financial planning services and more.

 “The addition of solar is a demonstration of our commitment to sustainable and earth-friendly practices. The additional benefit of long-term savings on power costs allows us to return even greater value to our 240,000 Members.”
~ Brett Martinez, President & CEO, Redwood Credit Union

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San Rafael Solar Energy Case Study, Schmidt Family

San Rafael Resident Saves Over $1,700 Annually with Solar Electric System

SolarCraft residential solar energy installation


Project Overview
Location San Rafael, CA
System Size 5.2 kW
Surface Area 281 sq. ft.
Product SunPower 327 watt
Production 7,674 kWh/year
# of Solar Panels 16

Mr. Schmidt compared several solar contractors to determine that SolarCraft had the expertise to install a solar electric system for him.

In addition to electricity produced for his household, the solar panels generate surplus electricity to sell to PG&E for energy credits. The system includes 16 SunPower panels and a grid-tied inverter from SMA America.

Mr. Schmidt’s utility bill has been reduced by 84%, plus solar power protects him from future utility rate increases.

San Rafael is an active solar community. Residents are turning to solar as a viable and attractive source of energy.
SolarCraft has installed more than 1,000 solar energy systems in the San Rafael area.


• Saves the Schmidt family over $1,700 in electric bills annually

• Will reduce CO2 emissions by 30 tons over 30 years, equivalent to eliminating over 2,800 miles of driving each year

• Increases property value without increase to property tax assessment

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Solar Panels Installed at Labcon of Petaluma

World Leader in Eco-Friendly Plastics Increases Solar Production

Solar panels Labcon PetalumaNovato and Sonoma based SolarCraft announced the completion of a 73.2 kW solar electric expansion at Labcon in Petaluma, CA, the industry leader in sustainable plastic labware. The 73.2 kW addition combined with the existing 800 kW system brings Labcon’s annual solar production to 1.3 million Kilowatt hours.

The solar electric system addition is roof-mounted, spanning 3,935 square feet. The system addition consists of 224 SunPower 327-watt high efficiency solar panels, powering their offices and production facilities.

Labcon recently decided to expand the facility’s solar productivity to further reduce their carbon footprint and increase their utility savings. An industry pioneer in sustainability, Earth Friendly® is a registered Labcon trademark, a commitment to the eco-friendly culture in their products. Today, you can also see Labcon products carry the “Made with Solar Power™” trademark.

With the new solar energy system expansion, Labcon generates enough electricity each day to power 200 average homes. It will spare the air over 350 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to eliminating 21 million miles of driving.

About Labcon
Labcon North America is the world’s leading producer of low carbon laboratory disposables and was the first to market compostable plastics for laboratories. Labcon’s focus on sustainable solutions for laboratories dates to 1994 with the first low carbon products. Labcon goes significantly beyond any other refill system environmentally, with a Low Carbon footprint that redefines what it means to be sustainable. A UL-Certified ISO 9001:2008 company; Labcon North America is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay area.

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