Borrego Solar Powers Up Mobile Home Park

Borrego Solar, a specialist in customized solar design and installation for business and residential customers throughout California, recently completed installation of a 37 kW system for the Hacienda Mobile Home Park of Barstow, located in the Mojave Desert region of southern California. Travelers headed north on Highway 15 toward Las Vegas will have a clear view of the solar array as they drive through the northern part of Barstow.

According to City of Barstow officials, this was the city’s first solar electric installation, which required amendment of local zoning laws. Once the necessary zoning amendments were passed, Borrego Solar had 16 days to have the system installed and inspected, in order for the customer to take advantage of the California state tax credit before the end of the year. Owner Sharon Thurston had spent 5 years researching and planning to install solar power in the 47-unit park, and learned of Borrego Solar through a referral. “I wanted to take advantage of solar technology at the park for two reasons: to use green technology, and to save money,” Thurston said. In Thurston’s research, she did not find other mobile home parks that had converted to solar energy. “We may be the first to have built a solar system on such a scale – we’re providing power for 25 units,” Thurston said. “I view this as a long-term investment, and the system is warranted for 25 years. We get over 260 days of sunshine here a year, which is well over the national average – so solar just made sense.” The system is composed of 234 Sharp 160 W modules, and made use of 13 SMA Sunny Boy 2500W inverters. At peak sunlight, the system will produce about 30 kW of power — equivalent to the power used by 13 average households. The new solar system output generates 154 kWh per day, over 56,270 kWh per year – and accounts for approximately 36% of the park’s electricity bills, or 28% of its total usage. From an environmental perspective, the Hacienda Mobile Home Park solar system will prevent 54,000 lbs. Of CO2 emissions per year, or the equivalent of; the amount of CO2 generated by a car driving 90,000 miles; the amount of CO2 that would be counteracted by planting 9 acres of trees. Financially, the Thurstons are able to realize significant savings through: a Federal tax credit of $13,900; California state tax credit of $18,700; depreciated savings of $57,000 and a state rebate of over $138,000 The park is located on 6.5 acres of a 9-acre lot in the southern California desert region. This allowed Borrego Solar owner Aaron Hall and his crew to design a ground mount system, right outside the park. “In addition to the end-of-year deadline for installation and inspection, we got a surprise regarding the electrical setup,” Hall reported. “Instead of 3-phase 208 power, the park had single-phase 120/240 – so we had to completely modify the plans and change the components.” The Thurstons feel that the investment was well worth it. “We’re already seeing the financial advantages – and the system is extremely low-maintenance,” Sharon Thurston said. “Borrego Solar did great work, and made sure we were well-informed about the technical logistics of solar up front.”
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