San Francisco Grocery Store Introduces PV

Rainbow Grocery, a worker-owned organic grocery and Occidental Power, an installer of solar electric and solar thermal products in San Francisco, have teamed up to create one of the largest commercially owned solar electric systems in San Francisco.

San Francisco, California – January 20, 2003 [] Located on the store’s roof, the 10 kW photovoltaic (PV) system will offset Rainbow Grocery’s power consumed from the grid while a solar thermal system will provide hot water for use in the store. A ribbon cutting ceremony for the completed system will be held on Tuesday, January 21 at 10 a.m. Rainbow Grocery Cooperative has been a part of San Francisco’s Mission district for over 25 years. The addition of solar power to the building is in keeping with Rainbow’s mission statement, “…recycling, reducing and reusing resources whenever possible.” “Since all of our business decisions are made democratically, the new solar electric system is a source of great pride for all of us here because everyone feels like they had a part in it,” said Scott Bradley, a member of Rainbow’s public relations committee. Rainbow Grocery’s new PV system is expected to create significant economic and environmental benefits. In addition to an attractive amortization period, the system will produce and save more than 547,500 kWh over 30 years. The system will also result in more than 500 tons of CO2 emissions avoided, the equivalent of removing 135 cars from the roadways. “Rainbow Grocery is aggressively doing everything they can to reduce their energy consumption,” said Greg Kennedy, president of Occidental Power. “Their members have made a real, tangible and environmentally conscious commitment both to solar and the community for the next 25 years.” It’s less common for installations such as this one that combine both solar thermal and solar electric said Occidental’s Roger Williams. The ample roof space on Rainbow Grocery’s roof, Occidental’s extensive experience with both systems, and the grocery’s commitment to supporting renewables were major factors in combining the two systems. “Rainbow Grocery is about offering the healthiest products while being environmentally conscious,” said Williams. They’re a customer coming with a goal to be as green as possible – we were able to help them with this.” Occidental Power was chosen to install the system due to their 20 years of experience and expertise in solar electric and solar thermal design in and around San Francisco. According to Williams, many Renewable Energy incentives helped boost the affordability of the system including are an up to 50 percent rebate from the California Energy Commission (CEC) and a state tax credit of 15 percent.


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