Kyocera Solar has provided a 57.6 kW photovoltaic solar array to West Marine Products of Santa Cruz, California making it the largest array in the county, according to the company.Scottsdale, Arizona – June 16, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The array, designed and installed by Solar Technologies, consists of 480 Kyocera 120-watt solar panels linked to Sunny Boy inverters that will provide up to 81,000 kWh of electricity annually — enough to power up to 20 average-size area homes. Managers of the West Marine outlet expect the system to offset up to 67 percent of the store’s total demand for electricity. The company’s 5,000-square foot retail location at 2450 17th Ave. is part of a 260-store nationwide chain operated by Watsonville, California-based West Marine Products, Inc. “West Marine is committed to using proven technology with a reasonable payback time to reduce our impact on the environment,” said Randy Repass, Chairman of the Board for West Marine Products. “Our system provided the environmental and financial payback we were looking for.” Solar Technologies specializes in the design, engineering and installation of photovoltaic systems for commercial and residential applications. The company’s founder Roger DeNault chose Kyocera solar panels because of their excellent cost-to-efficiency ratio. “Less roof area was required to provide the desired output, which also means less weight on the roof,” DeNault said It costs approximately US$400,000 to install a 50 kW system but DeNault said such systems pay for themselves, not only in cost savings but also as less-polluting alternatives to other traditional power generation methods. In order to take the sting out of the cost, the company was able to benefit from a variety of government incentives for the solar array, including a 50 percent rebate from the California Public Utilities commission; an additional 15 percent “after rebate” California State tax credit; a 10 percent federal tax credit; and an accelerated five-year depreciation schedule that includes a 30 percent depreciation allowance in the first year.