Chandler, Ariz.-based integrator Sun Valley Solar Solutions has commissioned a 115 kW solar array at the Navopache Electric Cooperative’s (NEC) headquarters, located near Lakeside, Ariz.
As a nonprofit, member-owned power distribution cooperative, NEC serves more than 32,000 members and approximately 40,000 meters across the White Mountains of eastern Arizona and western New Mexico. NEC’s latest solar initiative joins existing solar installations executed by the utility in recent years.
“We were already planning to add shade to our parking area when we decided to combine that effort with another solar investment,” explains Randall Lewis, who served as NEC’s project manager. “We’ve seen significant impact from our four previous solar projects, and we’re eager to make a similar clean energy investment at our main headquarters.”
The final design incorporates more than 356 SunPower solar modules and provides the utility with an estimated 203,218kWh of clean electricity annually. The modules are installed on two custom-engineered parking structures that also provide shade for the utility’s fleet of boom trucks and employee vehicles.
Construction broke ground in late 2014, with asphalt, main support structures, conduit, and trenching completed before cooler temperatures put the project in hiatus until spring. Overhead structures, panels and inverters were installed, with grid connection and commissioning completed by summer 2015.
After more than six months of operation, NEC says it couldn’t be happier with its decision to go solar. “NEC is very committed to solar, and we’re proud to have taken another bold step toward a cleaner and more sustainable energy future for our company and our community,” concludes Lewis.