Natural Products Company Goes for Natural Power

SolarCraft Services secured a contract to design and install a 106 kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) system using RWE Schott Solar panels for Avalon Natural Products of Petaluma, the largest manufacturer of natural and organic personal products in the U.S.

Novato, California – May 21, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] The SolarCraft PV system will provide 100% of Avalon’s electricity needs on an annual basis for the company’s 55,000 square foot office and distribution center. Avalon will receive a rebate for approximately 50% of the cost from the California Energy Commission and will save some $35,000 per year in electrical expenses. SolarCraft Services, headquartered in Novato, will engineer and install the non-penetrating roof mount system. The system’s PV panels will convert sunlight directly into electricity and will generate approximately 175,000 kilowatt hours of energy annually. SolarCraft is one of the Bay Area’s many solar energy companies and is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The company said they have installed more solar energy systems than any other company in the North Bay. “Our primary reason for installing PV is to help utilize green energy and reduce our dependence on other less clean forms of energy,” said Mark Egide, the President of Avalon. “We’ve calculated that we will get our investment back in ten years or less. The time of payback depends on how much energy prices increase, and I think most people would agree that they will increase each year.” Egide added that installing a solar electric system is important to the culture and values of Avalon Natural Products, which prides itself on social responsibility and only uses pure, organic and cruelty-free ingredients. “Our formulas are naturally derived without animal ingredients, hypoallergenic and biodegradable,” said Egide. “Our packaging utilizes recycled and recyclable materials. For us, installing a solar electric system is simply an extension of our green philosophy.” SolarCraft will install a non-penetrating roof mounting system, which maintains the integrity of Avalon’s large flat roof. The roof mounting system, manufactured by RWE Schott Solar, is wind tunnel tested up to 130 miles per hour. SolarCraft will install Schott’s high-performing ASE 300 solar panels, which are double encapsulated with glass on the top and the bottom and guaranteed for 20 years. “The solar panels that we are using are very environmentally friendly and use no lead or other harsh chemicals, contributing to Avalon’s green ethic,” said Chris Bunas, manager of PV services for SolarCraft. “The roof gets a lot of sun, and the solar system will also act as a sunshade, which will lower Avalon’s building energy costs.”
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