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Beverage Distributor Gets 100% of Electricity From Rooftop Solar

solarpanelsBay Area Beverage Company, the largest distributor of branded beverages in Alameda and Contra Costa counties in California, has completed the installation of a 500-kW solar power system, one of the largest in the region. The Richmond, California-based company now generates 100 percent of its electricity from solar power.

Designed by San Francisco-based Sunlight Electric, the solar power system consists of 2,756 modules and is large enough to power 85 homes. The system was financed through loans and incentives, including approximately $2.9 million in tax credits and state subsidies over the next six years.

Leading the nation in rooftop solar installations, California installed a record 133 megawatts of solar photovoltaics in 2008. In December alone, residents filed a record 1,215 applications seeking solar subsidies, according to the California Public Utilities Commission.

The solar company estimates that the system will save the beverage distributor $171,000 in electricity costs annually. It also is expected to reduce the distributor’s carbon footprint by more than 905,924 pounds of CO2 per year. For complete details about the solar system including a real-time display of power generation and environmental benefits visit the company’s solar Web site.

Sunlight Electric has installed over 1-million watts of solar generating capacity to date including 40 percent of the winery solar power systems in Napa County including Robert Keenan Winery and Frog’s Leap Winery.

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