“Everything aligned as to what Vista Solar could build, how they were going to do it, and the lenders working with us. It put us in a place where we couldn’t not go solar.” 

– John Fumia, Jr., Owner of Airdrome Orchards


It’s 2011. Vista Solar approaches Airdrome Orchards about going solar, and the conditions could not have been riper. Pun very much intended.

Sold on Vista Solar’s professionalism and solar proposal, Airdrome’s preferred lender took advantage of 100% bonus depreciation and tax incentives. Consequently, the lender offers an operating lease with an agricultural rate which allowed Airdrome to be cash-flow positive from day one.

“They (Vista Solar) were impressive from the start, and I didn’t feel I had to go out and talk to six other solar installers to find out who was going to be the best. They were very forthright about everything throughout the whole process. There was never any question in our mind about what was going on.” said John Fumia, owner of Airdrome.


With the space constraints of Airdrome’s rooftops, Vista Solar recommended SunPower solar panels in their turnkey proposal. High-efficiency solar panels are a crucial element in reaching the energy production targets, and achieving the best long-term savings. However, Airdrome Orchards didn’t need much convincing, because they’re already aware of SunPower’s reputation for high-quality solar solutions.

“You are always concerned about what the performance is going to be for a solar system, but based on using SunPower panels, we’re confident that the system should perform well in the long run,” said Fumia.

In just the first twelve months of operation, these SunPower panels are producing at least 377,827 kWh, all the while Airdrome’s able to avoid over $100,000 of grid electrical costs.


Finishing the project on time and budget, Vista Solar didn’t stop there in helping Airdrome maximizing their solar system’s value. At the signing of the initial agreement, the California Solar Initiative rebate program had expired. However, by the time the system was running, the rebate program is back.

Vista Solar guided Airdrome through the filing process, helping to save them an additional $35,000. Over the next 25 years, Airdrome’s savings are anticipating to climb to approximately $3.5 million. In addition, this includes all the leasing payments and the buy-out of the system. Cash-flow positive from the start, their new SunPower solar solution enables Airdrome Orchards to keep its budget focused on its core business for the future.

See more projects like this here.