Solar Roundup: SolarCity, SolarCraft, SunWize, Direct Energy
SunWize Technologies, an engineering, procurement and construction company and distributor of sustainable energy products, completed a solar canopy installation for the San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center. The solar electric installation is one of many renewable energy projects at VA facilities across the United States, commissioned by the agency as part of its ongoing Energy and Water Management Program. The canopy consists of 1,022 Samsung modules integrated into a steel structure that was built on top of an existing parking garage. It also creates additional shaded parking for 85 vehicles.
SolarCity will supply solar electricity directly to the town of East Bridgewater, Mass. in a move that will cut energy costs by $2 million for the town over 25 years. The company has installed more than 10,000 solar panels, and the town pays it an electricity rate that is lower than its local utility rates. At 2.45 megawatts of generation capacity, East Bridgewater’s project is among the largest solar installations in Massachusetts. The solar panels are expected to produce more than 3 million kilowatt hours of electricity each year.
Direct Energy and SolarCity have partnered to provide solar electricity directly to businesses, and have created an investment fund capable of financing up to $124 million in solar projects for Direct Energy’s commercial and industrial customers, which is partially funded with up to $50 million from Direct Energy. Through the arrangement, eligible Direct Energy customers will be able to utilize solar power with little or no upfront cost, depending on the customer’s choice of plans. Customers will be given a choice to prepay for their solar electricity or pay a monthly payment, with installation, insurance, repairs and monitoring service included.
SolarCraft announced the completion of a 51 kW solar electric and solar pool heating system at Sweetwater Spectrum community in Sonoma, CA, a residential development for adults with autism. The solar electric system is roof-mounted on four residential buildings and the community center. It consists of high-efficiency solar panels spanning a total of 3,600 square feet. SolarCraft says its financing options for non-profits allow them to avoid upfront costs and its rates being lower than PG&E’s utility rates enable cost savings.
Image credit: SunWize Technologies (VA Medical Center)
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