Sonoma, California-based SolarCraft, a North Bay solar installer, recently completed the installation of a 75 kW DC solar electric system at Richmond Yacht Club in Point Richmond, California. The system will produce more than 50% of the harbor’s projected annual energy needs, saving the establishment thousands every month while powering their operations with clean, sustainable electricity.
Using the majority of available roof space, the solar photovoltaic system is mounted on the main clubhouse building, with 208 high-efficiency solar panels, producing 105,706 kWh annually. The system is designed to withstand the challenges presented by the waterfront location, such as high winds and salt mist corrosion.
Installing solar energy was appealing to the club owners and operators not only for sustainability, but also to reduce costs. SolarCraft’s financing partner provided a pre-paid PPA, which reduced the cost of the installation by 15%, and allowed the Club to monetize some of the tax credits not available to not-for-profit organizations. Paying only 85% of the system cost with a 9-year loan resulted in positive cash flow starting in year one and saving the club more than $500,000 in utility expenses over the PV system life span.
During the life of the system, over 1,790 metric tons of carbon dioxide generated by Richmond Yacht Club’s operations will be eliminated. This impact is equivalent to removing air pollution produced by 5 million miles of driving over 25 years or the pollutants removed by 93 acres of trees in one year. The nearly maintenance-free system should pay for itself within 5-6 years, and last over 30 years.