REC Solar, a national provider of commercial solar and energy solutions, today announced the interconnection of a 1 MW solar energy system for Windset Farms. The Santa Barbara County farm is the largest in Santa Maria and grows non-GMO produce year-round in its state-of-the-art greenhouse facility. The roof-mounted solar array will enable the farm to run on clean energy, further enhancing its sustainable operations. This installation adds to REC Solar’s portfolio of over three dozen farms and food and beverage facilities in California.
“REC Solar is the clear leader in helping California farms go solar, and deciding to work with them was an easy decision,” said David Wesley, Director of Projects at Windset Farms. “They helped us overcome some unique construction challenges, like high winds and site access restrictions. To top it off, the system was easy to finance and helped us save money on our energy bills immediately.”
REC Solar installed the 4,032-panel array on the roof of the farm’s shipping and packing building. The system was designed to accelerate the farm’s return on investment by maximizing energy production and offsetting consumption when utility electricity rates are highest. To achieve this goal, REC Solar installed a custom racking system combining flush-mounted panels on the western roof face and southern-tilted panels on the eastern roof face to receive optimal sun exposure. The racking system does not penetrate the roof, which will minimize long-term maintenance costs.
“REC makes it easy for farms to go solar because we cater to their specific business operations and ensure minimal disruptions. Since we work with our customers from start to finish, we can provide tailored financing, design and O&M options that help each business meet its energy savings targets,” said Ryan Park, Director of Business Development at REC Solar. “Windset Farms is already a clear leader in cutting-edge technology and sustainability practices, and we’re pleased to help them to extend their leadership even further.”
Windset Farms® is a leader in deploying cutting-edge sustainable technology, including but not limited to water and CO2recycling, an Integrated Pest Management system, heat-loss prevention screens and efficient land use. The family-run 128-acre facility in Santa Maria grows many varieties of tomatoes and cucumbers for leading national retailers such as Costco and Trader Joe’s.
The farm hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for their new solar array on Tuesday, August 18th.
In addition to Windset Farms, REC Solar has installed solar systems for large and small growers throughout the state, including Pandol, Vignolo Farms, Castlerock Vineyards, Delano Growers, Peter Rabbit Farms and Amaral Ranches. The company recently acquired Stellar Energy and expanded operations in the agricultural market, adding more than 10 wineries and farms to their portfolio. With financial backing from one of the largest energy companies in the world, REC Solar offers a streamlined PPA that simplifies the financing process to help farms and other businesses go solar with no money down.
ST Staff Writers
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.