Contractor Partners with RWE Schott Solar

With energy prices increasing and fossil fuel supplies shrinking along with the increased awareness of the environmental damage caused by burning these fuels, many businesses are looking at solar energy, specifically solar photovoltaics (PV), as a way to offset their rising energy costs. However, many businesses don’t know how to go about selecting PV systems and many more industrial and specialty contractors pass on opportunities to include PV systems in their bids due to concerns ranging from a lack of understanding about how PV systems work to a lack of training and in-house expertise to design, build and install these energy saving systems. Cal-Air Inc. a specialty contractor saw the inclusion of solar energy systems as the next logical step in their quest to support a more energy independent California.

Rocklin, California – July 11, 2003 [] RWE Schott Solar, Inc. (RSS), is now working with Cal-Air, Inc. as the exclusive supplier of solar electric systems and engineering services for Cal-Air’s first three comprehensive energy conservation projects that include PV. These projects, which are part of the company’s effort to support an energy-independent California, include the City of Cotati Police Station, the Sonoma County Office of Education (SCOE) in Santa Rosa and the Norman Glick Middle School in Modesto. Since 1953, Cal-Air has been designing, engineering high-efficiency systems with a focus on heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), lighting and refrigeration. In its October 2002 bid for the SCOE project, Cal-Air looked to solar energy suppliers to help round out its proposal, which, for the first time, included PV in the design. RWE Schott Solar stepped up, offering not only its products, but also its engineering services. The latter was a crucial part of this successful bid as the SCOE building’s roof required special attention due to its structural limitations, design and age, said RSS. “When we first spoke with RSS, we had a viable and interesting design solution to install and support a PV system just above the SCOE building’s flat roof,” said Mark Sampaio, regional vice president for Cal-Air. “RSS looked at what we had planned and suggested an alternative system called the SunRoof FS, which requires no roof penetration or additional support structures. They’ve done a great deal of behind the scenes engineering work with us on the PV systems and have really proven themselves as a valuable resource. That’s why we selected them to help us with the next two projects.” The SCOE project was completed in January and includes a 60 kW SunRoof FS system and a SunTrack monitoring system for measuring performance on an ongoing basis. The PV system reduces the cost of the building’s electricity requirements by offsetting expensive utility power, and delivers extra energy back to the utility for full retail credit on weekends when the building is closed. The City of Cotati Police Station will have a 30 kW sloped roof system installed this month. It is expected to begin producing power this month. The Norman Glick Middle School includes a 15 kW rooftop array and a 30 kW system to be completed on a shade structure later this month. All three projects include a PV system as part of Cal-Air’s overall comprehensive energy conservation installation. Cal-Air is responsible for the SCOE building’s and City of Cotati Police Station’s energy conservation layout, design and installation. Cal-Air optimized an existing plan to make the Norman Glick Middle School more energy efficient. In addition to the PV systems, each installation also addresses the building’s HVAC and lighting needs. “The addition of PV systems is a logical next step for Cal-Air as they continue to grow their energy conservation applications, efficiency offerings and business,” said Tom Starrs, executive vice president for Sales and Marketing at RWE Schott Solar. “The financial incentives now available to businesses and other organizations throughout California are helping to make the benefits of PV systems more widespread, and with forward-thinking companies like Cal-Air to design and install the systems, they are becoming more readily available too.”
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