Big Check Rolls in for Big Solar PV System

A Burlingame supermarket that uses sunlight to generate electricity earned a US$135,197 rebate from Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

Burlingame, California – May 23, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] The rebate is from PG&E’s Self-Generation Incentive Program, which covers up to half the cost of on-site generation systems using renewable fuels such as solar and wind power. It is also the first market in San Mateo County to use such a large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) system. Lunardi’s Supermarkets is so encouraged by the results that it recently installed a similar system at a San Jose store, and is looking to put in an electricity-generating wind turbine at its San Bruno market. PowerLight Corporation of Berkeley installed the system designed by Ray Hoyt of Rakar Industries, Inc. of Danville. The system – capable of producing up to 30 kW of energy – powers the store’s advanced fluorescent lighting system. The solar generator fulfills approximately 5.5 percent of the store’s electricity needs and is already reducing the store’s electricity bill by US$900 to US$1,000 per month. “Using solar power in two of our stores is both good economic and environmental sense,” said Paul Lunardi, president of Lunardi’s Supermarkets. “It also fits into our commitment to providing quality service and helping the community by using Renewable Energy.” Pacific Gas and Electric Company is providing the financial incentive through a program that allows customers installing on-site electric generation to obtain cash rebates to help offset the upfront costs associated with either solar, wind, fuel cell, micro turbine or internal combustion engine systems. The program, titled the Self-Generation Incentive Program, is primarily designed for business-sized systems, which help to meet some, or all, of a facility’s power needs. The California Energy Commission offers a similar program targeted to residential customers who install renewable generation sources, such as solar and wind.

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