Stellar Energy Builds 809 kW PV Array For BoDean Co.


BoDean Co.'s Mark West Quarry in Santa Rosa, Calif., has completed an 809 kW PV system that is designed to meet 100% of electrical energy needs for the crushed rock and asphaltic concrete supplier's quarry.

Stellar Energy, an engineering, procurement and construction firm based in Rohnert Park, Calif., coordinated the installation. The PV system is expected to generate more than 1.12 GWh of energy per year and recoup its $3 million cost in about seven years through energy savings.

The installation is composed of three ground-mounted solar electric arrays on concrete pads. It features 3,444 Yingli 235 W solar panels in a series of 14 modules, an Internet-based monitoring system to measure performance and an automated, programmable solar panel cleaning system, which Stellar Solar says is important for removing the dust created by quarrying operations.

Construction began on the project in November 2010 and required approximately five months to complete. According to Stellar, BoDean's site posed a logistical challenge for Stellar, because the panels had to be placed on a steeply graded hillside left over from the company's mining operations.

Stellar helped BoDean identify and apply for several programs that will help offset a portion of the capital costs for the system. A grant from the U.S. Department of Treasury will provide a reimbursement of 30% of the project's cost. BoDean also is taking advantage of federal legislation that allows for accelerated depreciation of the system through the end of the year, and performance-based rebates offered by Pacific Gas and Electric over a period of five years.

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