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Sonoma Mountain Village

Location

Rohnert Park, CA

Description

Sonoma Mountain Village is a mixed use property that comprises over 600,000 square feet of space. They selected Stellar Energy to add more solar capacity to their existing solar installation in order to generate 100% of their electricity needs from on-site solar. Stellar Energy installed a total of 1.16 megawatts (MW) on two building's roof tops. The project was financed in part through Sonoma County's Energy Independence Program (SCEIP) and is the largest solar system in Sonoma County to be financed by SCEIP to date.

Live Data Monitoring
View Sonoma Mountain Village's Online Solar System Monitoring Tool, which is updated in real-time from the SMV solar system installation.

smv-monitoring

Challenge

Sonoma Mountain Village already had an existing solar installation on one building and desired additional PV capacity that would interconnect with the electrical grid and qualify for the California Solar Initiative (CSI) rebate.

Utility regulations would not allow additional solar generation to be tied to an existing meter to qualify for rebates. Stellar Energy needed an approach that would allow interconnection of the additional 1.16 MW solar system and still be eligible for CSI's current rebate.

Another logistical challenge was installing the system's large inverters in a suitable location which involved special lifts to maneuver and fit into them in a secure, indoor electrical closet. This non standard approach also required a variance to allow two solar disconnects for the site's single meter.

Solution

Stellar Energy's solar analysts successfully navigated the utility's rules for interconnection and rebate qualification process. After evaluating all installation possibilities, the solar design team created a solution that would deliver maximum solar performance, qualify for the utility rebate, and overcome the space constraints. By installing a new electrical meter at the site, Stellar Energy's team was able to install two highly efficient solar PV arrays and provide maximum benefits to Sonoma Mountain Village. The new total solar capacity is now 181,000 square feet, or almost 4 acres, of roof top solar panels.

Benefits

Stellar Energy's installation crews were able to complete construction on budget and 30 days ahead of schedule, enabling operations to start earlier than initially planned. The new 1.16 MW solar installation now enables Sonoma Mountain Village to generate 100% of its electricity needs from their roof top solar arrays and is a clear indication of their commitment to sustainability. The project is expected to save over $200,000 in annual electricity costs. In addition, Sonoma Mountain Village was able to take advantage of the federal grant in lieu of tax credit, which reimbursed 30 percent of the project's cost, as well as accelerated depreciation of the system and utility rebates. This system also offsets more than .73 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually (EPA calculator).

Download the Case Study (pdf)

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Specifications

  • Energy Capacity: 1.16 MW DC Total (2 sites)
  • # of Modules: 4,928 Yingli PV Modules
  • Type of Mount: 2 separate ballasted roof-mounted systems
  • Type of Inverter: 3 Satcon inverters
  • Monitoring System: DECK Monitoring with public dislay

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