“Working with Vista Solar went really smoothly. We had great communication from Vista Solar, and we are really happy with our SunPower solar system.”

– Mary Medeiros McEnroe, City of Santa Clara


The City of Santa Clara set ambitious environmental solar goals receive 30 MW of solar power by 2017 and to achieve LEED Silver certification. With an EECBG from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA), the city had a chance to take several steps towards accomplishing those objectives. The grant funded LED pedestrian signals, LED lighting in City buildings, retro-commissioning of City building heating and air conditioning systems, and weatherization for low income and multi-family homes. Furthermore, the city decided to include solar power amongst its projects. Having brought solar power to other city buildings, the city already understood the benefits of this renewable energy. After evaluating different sites, the city decided that Henry Schmidt Park offered a prime location for solar power.


Vista Solar wins the public works contracting process by having the lowest bid, AND meeting all of the City of Santa Clara’s requirements for bonding, insurance, and references. Vista Solar’s inclusion of high efficiency SunPower solar panels created a bid providing the largest system with the lowest construction costs. SunPower high efficiency solar panels maximizes energy production in a limited rooftop space, and this reduces the number of panels, mounting materials, and other system components that are needed, further reducing construction costs. SunPower solar panels are also made in the U.S., which met a key ARRA funding requirement. The overall combination offered the city the best solar solution for their Henry Schmidt Park project.


As an experienced installer, Vista Solar knew how to be sensitive to the needs of the City of Santa Clara. Vista Solar ensured that there was clear coordination and communication with the Parks and Recreation Office for the construction team to be on site, and Vista Solar blocked off areas under construction from the public. In only a week, Vista Solar installed the project to finish on-time and on-budget. Henry Schmidt Park’s lighting, internal electric baseboard heating, and other electrical appliances are now being powered by solar energy. This project went so well that the City of Santa Clara has already turned to Vista Solar again for a 125 KW solar system. The Henry Schmidt Park SunPower solar system is a shining example to residents of how the City of Santa Clara is creating a greener future for its community.

See more projects like this here.


*Annual savings based on Year 1 of installation in operation.