Solar Comes To San Francisco ‘Painted Lady’ Home
Sunrun has announced that one of San Francisco’s famous Painted Lady homes – recognizable from the opening scenes of TV sitcom “Full House” – has gone solar.
The house, which sits on a row of classic Victorian homes, is one of the city’s most photographed locations, the residential solar company notes. The homeowners of the Painted Lady opted for a Sunrun solar lease.
The installation of the solar panels is the latest step in a series of energy-efficient renovations made since the home was purchased in 2014. Despite the Victorian home’s modern upgrades, including rooftop solar, it has maintained its original architecture from its construction in 1892 – serving as an example of preserving history while sustaining the future through renewable energy, says Sunrun.
“We think this is a really special property, and we’ve put a lot of love into transforming this historic landmark into the modern, energy-efficient home it is today,” said homeowners Côme Lague and Charlene Li.
Sunrun notes that the home will also be one of the first in the continental U.S. to pilot the company’s solar-plus-storage system, the Sunrun BrightBox, which is designed to help homeowners maximize their savings by storing excess energy the sun produces during the day to use later at night. The first BrightBox was installed in May in O’ahu and is currently available to homeowners in Hawaii. Sunrun plans to offer its storage solution to more California homeowners and roll it out more broadly in the next five years.
“We’re proud to help such a unique and iconic property in our hometown of San Francisco to go solar and start saving money,” said Michael Grasso, chief marketing officer at Sunrun. “Solar is really for everyone, and this development demonstrates that it’s possible to pay respect to the past while still keeping an eye to the future.”
Mitsubishi Electric Walks The Walk On Solar
Well, this makes sense! A company is powering its U.S. headquarters using its very own solar panels.
Mitsubishi Electric US Inc. has installed a 369 kW solar PV system on the rooftop of its U.S. headquarters in Cypress, Calif. Mitsubishi Electric Corp. was founded in 1921 and manufactures a diverse line of products, including PV modules, automation equipment, escalators and elevators, and heating and cooling products.
The 1,380-module system was installed at the headquarters building, located within Warland Investment Co.’s Cypress Business Park, using Mitsubishi’s 690 Diamond Premium and 690 Diamond Pro modules. According to Mitsubishi, the system can save the company 85% in electric costs, which totals $2 million over the next 25 years. Based on current electricity usage, the system is expected to cover 90% of the Mitsubishi facility’s power needs, allowing the system to pay for itself in less than five years.
The system was designed and installed by California-based installer Sun Integration. It includes 10 Yaskawa – Solectria Solar PVI 36TL transformerless, three-phase string inverters and non-penetrating racking by PanelClaw. The company says the ballasted racking, combined with Mitsubishi Electric’s modules, was key to obtaining a quick approval of the installation by all parties, including the building owner, Warland Investment Co.
“Mitsubishi Electric is pleased to contribute to the community and environment by producing clean energy with our own solar modules,” said Kiyoshi Furukawa, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Electric US Inc. “The system proves that businesses can be both environmentally and financially sustainable.”
Mass. Officials Dedicate 3 MW Brownfield Project
Officials have dedicated a 3 MW solar project built on a 10-acre brownfield site in Westfield, Mass. During a ceremony, Massachusetts Lieutenant-Governor Karyn Polito; Westfield Mayor Brian P. Sullivan; and Mark Noyes, president and CEO of ConEdison Development, developer of the solar project, celebrated completion of the 8,844-panel installation.
“We applaud Westfield and ConEdison Development for their ingenuity in transforming a brownfield into a source of clean energy and look forward to future projects continuing the growth of the commonwealth’s vibrant solar industry,” said Polito.
Noyes added, “This state understands the importance of clean energy. The visionary policies of Massachusetts have allowed solar sites like this to flourish throughout the commonwealth.”
Prior to project construction, the reclaimed land had been an underutilized former gravel pit listed as a brownfield. Development of the site required the processing of approximately 60,000 cubic yards of construction demolition debris, all of which was subsequently used on- site for grading and roadways, according to ConEdison Development. Moreover, working closely with city and state agencies, the company established a wetland replication area, allowing the site to serve as an attractive location for wildlife to thrive in the future.
The solar installation, owned and operated by ConEdison Development, will provide solar power to Westfield Electric & Gas under a long-term power purchase agreement.
NRG Signs Up Big-Name Firms For Community Solar
NRG Energy’s renewables business has broken ground on five community solar projects totaling 29.1 MW in Minnesota and reached agreements to subscribe several national business customers.
“Across Minnesota, we are hearing the same strong message from residents and businesses alike: They want to be powered by affordable, renewable energy,” said Drew Warshaw, vice president of community solar at NRG. “Community solar gives them that opportunity – a simple, cost-effective path for residents and businesses to go solar without having to put panels on their roofs.”
NRG says its commitment to developing community solar in Minnesota (the state where NRG began operations in 1989) is moving forward, with 25-year solar subscription agreements signed by more than 1,000 residents and several large businesses in the state, including the following: U.S. Bank has local six sites subscribing, including the iconic U.S. Bank Plaza in Minneapolis; Land O’Lakes, a national member-owned agricultural cooperative based in the Minneapolis-St. Paul suburb of Arden Hills, has its corporate headquarters subscribing; Macy’s has three of its local retail sites subscribing; and Ecolab, a global company focused on water, hygiene and energy technologies and services headquartered in St. Paul, has several corporate facilities subscribing.
“We seek out partnerships that positively impact the environment, and participating in this unique community solar garden initiative is a great example of that,” said Reba Dominski, senior vice president of corporate social responsibility at U.S. Bank.