UESUGI FARMS PHASE I & II
“Vista Solar has met every single expectation we have had, if not exceeding every single expectation. They’ve done what they said they were going to do, and we know we can count on them for help for the next 20 years to ensure that the system keeps on producing clean solar energy.”
DEAD AGRICULTURE LANDS REVIVED
In the agriculture business, every acre is precious. However, after several unsuccessful attempts to grow crops in the southwestern section of Uesugi Farms’ land, it’s clear that the land is simply unusable. “Even the weeds have trouble growing back there because they’re just drowning in water,” said Aiello.
While the excess of water makes growing crops impossible, a solar power system could function just fine. Aiello, knows of solar power and other renewable energy options such as hydrogen fuel cells and wind power. The long, successful track record of solar power earned his confidence. Timing, financing, and the right solar vendor would finally come together in 2012.
A TRUSTWORTHY PARTNER
Vista Solar and Uesugi Farms communicated for more than a year, and had developed one of the most essential elements of business: TRUST.
“They’re honest, and have integrity. They really took the time to educate us. They showed us how solar works, how the financing works, and how the incentives play into it,” said Aiello. Furthermore, Vista Solar found the right financial partner and solar incentives. As a result, Uesugi Farms can go solar with zero capital outlay and be cash-flow positive from the start.
With financing in place, Vista Solar’s design and installation a ground-mounted solar solution is ideal for the harsh agricultural environment. The system soars six feet overhead with rigorously tested Canadian Solar modules. It generates electricity while shading 28 Refusol, 3-phase, transformer-less, string inverters mounted on the solar supports below. Pole-mounted transformers are used to push the solar electricity nearly a mile back to the packaging and chiller buildings on the property – making it one of the longest continuous private wire runs in CA.
A LONG-TERM ENERGY ASSET
Finishing on budget in February 2013, Vista Solar’s 792 kW solar system spins the farm’s electric meters backwards. The system produces 1.25 million kWh in the first year, and will offset 91.5% of Uesugi Farms’ electrical demand. This energy will provide approximately $138,000 of utility savings in the initial year of operation. Furthermore, it’s forecast to save the company more than $2.6 million over the next twenty-five years. That’s a powerful hedge against volatile utility prices, which allows Uesugi Farms to keep more of its hard-earned money focused on its business. No longer a liability, the southwestern corner of Uesugi Farms is now prime solar power real estate.
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