Having recently sealed a strategic partnership and venture capital equity investment with Swiss multinational power industry leader ABB, Fremont, California's GreenVolts announced the commissioning a 288-kilowatt (kW) turnkey concentrated solar photovoltaic (CPV) system at family-owned Beneficial Insectary's factory in Redding, California.
GreenVolts in December publicly unveiled what it bills as the solar industry's first fully-integrated, turnkey CPV system on the market, at the same time announcing an international sales and distribution agreement with, and $20 million equity investment from ABB.
Solar and Sustainable Agriculture Beneficial Insectary is a leading edge producer and distributor of biologically based pest management products for sustainable agriculture, horticulture and livestock production. The family-owned business was looking for the means to reduce its energy costs, and its carbon emissions, for air conditioning, heating, humidity control, horticulture and livestock production, according to a GreenVolts' press release.
As is the case for many commercial operations, peak power demand for Beneficial Insectary occurs during afternoons when electricity prices are highest. That made solar PV and CPV systems comparatively attractive, as their peak output coincides with the company's peak demand.
Ease of installation, operation and maintenance were key criteria for Beneficiary. Located in a scenic area of the Shasta Valley, blending in with the surrounding landscape and minimizing the visual, as well as environmental, impact of a renewable energy system were also key factors in its decision-making process.
GreenVolts' CPV system came out on top all things considered. The ground-mounted 288-kW solar CPV module array will supply more than 80 percent of peak electricity usage of Beneficial's production facility and comes with a 20-year total systems warranty. Having developed a completely integrated, turnkey system, installation, operations and maintenance are comparatively simple and easy, according to Beneficial. The system can be monitored and managed remotely from the company's corporate office via the system's ISIS energy management software.
Employing CPV technology 2-3 times more efficient than conventional silicon solar PV also minimized the land area necessary to achieve the performance Beneficial was looking for. GreenVolts was able to design and install the system so that it conformed to the contours of the terrain in front of Beneficial's factory and allows the natural growth beneath the CPV modules to continue to thrive.
“The low profile and pleasing aesthetics of the system fit better into our environment and are being enjoyed by our employees and neighbors. GreenVolts was able to provide an installation that met our land, environment, energy, and cost requirements, as well as the level of support that we will require—a huge advantage for a family-owned agricultural business,” Beneficial Insectary's president Sinthya Penn stated.
“People really do care what their property looks like, especially people committing land for over 20 years to solar,” added David Gudmundson, president and CEO of GreenVolts. “The fully integrated design of the GreenVolts system is simple, visually pleasing, and very elegant—nicely satisfying the increasingly important environmental ethos of businesses and communities.”
*Photo Courtesy GreenVolts
An experienced, independent journalist, editor and researcher, Andrew has crisscrossed the globe while reporting on sustainability, corporate social responsibility, social and environmental entrepreneurship, renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean technology. He studied geology at CU, Boulder, has an MBA in finance from Pace University, and completed a certificate program in international governance for biodiversity at UN University in Japan.