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Solar System Transforms Fallow Land Into Money Generating Asset
by Staff Writers
Gilroy CA (SPX) Sep 02, 2014


Uesugi Farms 792kW solar system installed by Vista Solar. Image courtesy Vista Solar.

In February 2013, Vista Solar installed a 792kW solar system on a block of fallow, unusable land at Uesugi Farms. In the first year of operation, the solar system generated over $100,000 in savings and has offset the farm's electric bill by more than 90%.

The savings generated has freed up funds for several organizational investments. "Just in the first year alone, we've saved about $115,000," says Uesugi Farms owner and general manager Pete Aiello.

"With the savings, we've been able to increase our cooling operation, purchase an ice injector, make a few additions to our packing facility, and purchase a couple pieces of equipment including a large forklift."

With a $0 down operating lease, the system at Uesugi Farms was cash-flow positive from day one, and is projected to generate more than $2.6 million in savings over the next 25 years.

"Vista Solar did an excellent job helping us turn a business liability into an asset," said Aiello. "Not only did they provide professionalism and expertise in designing and installing the system, but they excelled in all the aspects surrounding it, including obtaining the financing and educating our staff about solar."

With a low base flood elevation, the fallow parcel of farmland had been prone to flooding, making it nearly impossible to grow crops. Vista Solar designed and installed a system that transformed the unusable land into a solar power plant.

Elevated six feet off the ground to avoid flood damage, the system, comprised of Canadian Solar panels and Refusol string inverters mounted on a Solar FlexRack substructure, is capable of producing more than 1.25 million kilowatt hours of solar energy annually, enough to power more than 100 homes.

"Forward-thinking businesses like Uesugi Farms are motivated by the significant savings that solar can provide for their bottom line, but at the end of the day, they often have several other mission-critical places where their capital is needed," said Vista Solar President Jaymes Callinan.

"Being able to provide a way to start saving with solar right away while preserving precious capital and lines of credit is one of the things that makes this project and Vista Solar so unique."

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