City of San Rafael Increases Renewables & Saves Thousands
Novato and Sonoma based SolarCraft, recently completed the installation of a 246 kW DC solar electric system at the San Rafael City Hall and Police Department facilities in San Rafael, Marin County, CA. Increasing the sustainability of their operations and reducing their power costs, installing a solar photovoltaic system will save San Rafael thousands in utility fees every year.
The project was nearly half completed when the Coronavirus pandemic broke and strict Shelter-in-Place orders were announced for Marin County. While SolarCraft immediately complied with local authorities and suspended the majority of its operations to protect its employees, clients and the community, the project for the Police Department and the City was designated an essential project. As the police and fire departments for the City of San Rafael bravely stepped up to help their community during the emerging crisis, SolarCraft recognized that it was also critical to complete the construction project as soon as possible to minimize disruptions to the vital services provided by the first responders. SolarCraft completed the installation during the midst of the region’s public health emergency by implementing many new safety procedures and carefully coordinating with the City’s project team. SolarCraft has since resumed full operations for all customers with these enhanced health and safety procedures in place. Although COVID-19 has caused disruption in the marketplace, interest in solar and energy storage as an alternative to fossil fuels for community health & safety is at the forefront, especially with reports of an extended fire season and more PSPS events expected.
“SolarCraft is proud to have partnered with the City of San Rafael to help them achieve their sustainability goals and demonstrate environmental leadership and financial responsibility,” said SolarCraft CEO Ted Walsh. “It is more important than ever for our government agencies and the private sector to work together to build a healthier and more sustainable future for our community.”
The solar PV system consists of 566 high-efficiency solar modules that make up a 53 kW roof mount system on the City Hall building and a 193 kW Carport Canopy Systems in the Police Department parking lot. The parking canopy structures will provide shade protection for the City’s fleet of first responder vehicles and were prepared for electric vehicle charging stations. The system is projected to provide 378,700 kWh of clean, sustainable power annually, offsetting 268 metric tons of carbon dioxide that would otherwise be emitted by fossil-fuel based utility power. This impact is equivalent to removing air pollution produced by over 664,400 miles of driving annually or the pollutants removed by 350 acres of trees.
This new clean energy installation is part of San Rafael’s Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) (https://sanrafaelclimateaction.org/), developed to increase the City’s supply of renewable energy sources, and to reduce dependency on non-renewable energy sources. This adds a fifth installment to the City’s current solar installations on the Public Works building, a community center, and two parking structures. Marin County Public agencies are migrating towards sustainable energy solutions as part of County-wide efforts to both reduce ongoing operating costs and reduce fossil-fuel emissions.
Being a government agency that is unable to capture the significant tax-credits available for solar projects, the City of San Rafael City Hall utilized a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to go solar. A PPA is an alternative financing solution that allows the City to purchase the power produced by the solar system without owning the system directly, thereby paying reduced rates for clean energy without the up-front costs or system operation and maintenance costs.
About the City of San Rafael
The oldest and the largest city in the county, San Rafael is the county seat of Marin County, California. Located in the North Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area, the visionary architect Frank Lloyd Wright left his mark here by designing the impressive Marin County Civic Center, designated a national historical landmark. In downtown Rafael, you will find Victorian buildings, ethnic restaurants, eclectic boutiques as well as the San Rafael City Plaza. The plaza is a lively gathering place and hosts eclectic events like the Thursday night farmers’ markets and summertime concerts
SolarCraft continues to provide clean energy and battery storage solutions throughout the North Bay while following strict health and safety protocols to protect employees, clients, and the community during the Coronavirus pandemic. SolarCraft is 100% Employee-Owned and is has been one of the largest green-tech employers based in the North Bay for over 35 years. SolarCraft delivers Clean Energy Solutions for homes and businesses including Solar Energy and Battery Energy Storage. With over 8,000 customers, our team of dedicated employee-owners is proud to have installed more clean energy systems than any other company in the North Bay. www.solarcraft.com.
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