Casino Bets on Solar Photovoltaic System

RWE Schott Solar (RSS), Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and Cache Creek Casino Resort jointly announced the commissioning of a 307.2 kW photovoltaic (PV), or solar electric, power generation station on the resort’s grounds. Made up of more than 1,000 ASE 300 series modules, the installation is the largest of its type owned by a casino resort.

Brooks, California – August 23, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] Clearly visible from the highway, the array will produce electricity equivalent to the requirements of about 73 homes a year for at least the next 25 years. The installation serves not only as a clean energy power station, but also as a symbol of the property’s commitment and contribution to helping California meet its energy needs. In addition, the system qualifies for a rebate from PG&E’s self-generation incentive program, which helps stimulate the commercial market for renewable energy by defraying initial up-front costs. “The Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians and Cache Creek Casino Resort have long been committed to finding sustainable solutions to California’s growing appetite for energy,” said Paula Lorenzo, tribal chairwoman, Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians. “The system is a good fit as we strive to balance healthy economic growth, preserve the area’s rural lifestyle and address environmental and land-use concerns of neighbors.” A total of 1,024 ASE 300 series modules make up the PV system installed at the Cache Creek Casino Resort. Rated at 307.20 kW, and arranged in a ground-mount array, the system will produce approximately 470,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. During peak production periods, the system can power more than 1,200 of the casino resort’s more than 1,700 slot machines. “When it came down to the actual construction of our recent expansion at the casino resort, one of the things we asked ourselves, the community at large and Yolo County was, ‘How can we maximize our power efficiency with clean alternative sources?’,” said Cache Creek Casino Resort General Manager, Randy Takemoto. “This solar electric power station is the answer, and a great amount of credit goes to many people who helped bring this all together, including companies like RWE Schott Solar and PG&E. The entire Capay Valley can be very proud of the stringent conservation efforts made here and throughout the region.” PG&E’s Self-Generation Incentive Program provides financial incentives to customers who install certain kinds and sizes (up to 1.5 megawatts), of “clean,” on-site distributed generation. These facilities must be certified to operate in parallel with the electric system grid (not back-up generation) and meet other criteria established by the California Public Utilities Commission. In this case, the rebate is $982,750. To date, more than $38 million in rebates to on-site solar electric systems have gone out since the first payment in 2002. “PG&E has long supported renewable energy, such as solar power, and applauds Cache Creek Casino Resort for contributing to the increase of ‘clean,’ on-site distributed generation,” said PG&E Director of Service Analysis, David Rubin said. “PG&E is proud to have partnered with Cache Creek to help the casino resort better manage its energy needs.”
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