Archives from Category Solar Spotlight

Sun to Table: SMA inverter harvesting energy at Just A Few Acres Farm for 12 years

As of this August, SMA’s Sunny Boy inverter has been powering the solar system at this family farm for 12 years.

A former solar engineer himself, Peter Larson of Just A Few Acres Farms recently celebrated the 12th anniversary of his switch to solar-powered energy for his home and farmstead. The seventh-generation farm has been long focused on serving its local community by valuing health, quality and sustainability in its operations.

Historic Sunny Boy inverter

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Pedigree Ovens Debuts “Ultimutt” Solar Project

In the Harvard, Ill., community, private-label pet treat brands Pedigree Ovens, Petdine, and The Pound Bakery have been known for their community leadership and engagement since 1996. The completion of their manufacturing plant solar-energy array honors their value of corporate stewardship and pays homage to their bark-worthy offerings for four-legged clientele.

PEdigree Ovens solar array

The solar array developed and contracted by Simpleray and Althoff Industries, respectively, is designed in the shape of a large dog bone and paw print. Featuring the SMA Sunny Highpower PEAK3 inverter, the installation is a 1.7 megawatt system that will yield 2,044,244 kilowatt hours annually—enough to fully supply the company’s energy demands. The environmental benefit is perhaps even more impressive: the solar power generated will annually offset 1,456 tons of greenhouse gases.

“It’s really exciting to be part of a project as creative as this installation,” said Chuck Ellis, vice president of sales with SMA America. “The project has a positive impact on the environment, and its distinctive array design is both functional and a unique display of corporate sustainability.”

The SMA PEAK3 inverter contributes high efficiency to the system as the only inverter of its class to notPEAK3 inverters require additional equipment, preventing lost energy production. By including the advantages of a decentralized system in a centralized design concept, the SMA inverter offers superior flexibility and control capability for a large array like Pedigree’s.

The project has gained recognition not only in the community but also among a national audience. Upon completion, the pawsome project was listed as a nominee in the non-residential (C&I ground-mount) category for Solar Builder Magazine’s Project of the Year.

Also working on this installation were HT-SAAE and OMCO Solar, who manufactured the modules and provided racking, respectively. The project was partially funded by the Adjustable Block Program, established by the Ill. Future Energy Jobs Act. The Adjustable Block Program encourages and sponsors the development of solar-power generation throughout the state, in both commercial and community projects.

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Solar Carport Project Illuminates Commercial Dealership’s Commitment to Energy Efficiency

Basking in the hot Texas sun along the interstate in San Antonio is the Rush Truck Center and Peterbilt dealership—the premier destination for the commercial vehicle industry. They recently took a giant step toward increased energy efficiency and a leaner carbon footprint with the installation of a new carport solar project.

In June, Rush Enterprises installed a carport solar project at the dealership, which sells both new and used heavy- and medium-duty trucks and aftermarket parts. These carports hold over 3,500 solar panels and provide shade and protection from the elements, including extreme heat and hail. This new carport will protect 181 Peterbilt trucks.

Built and managed by the Big Sun Community and CPS Energy, the installation at the Peterbilt dealership hosts the largest Big Sun Community Solar site to date. The installation includes 19 SMA CORE1 inverters and 3,586 Mission solar panels.

 Rush Enterprises purchased its solar system through the Big Sun Community Solar Program. This initiative installs solar panels, mainly in commercial parking lots, to create huge covered carports.

 “When looking for inverters that could support the 5MW Big Sun project across 12 different locations, SMA was the obvious choice,” said Andrew Wood, Vice President of Operations with Big Sun Community Solar. “Having a good range of small to medium inverters that we could mount on the Big Sun Carports made design and installation easy. From price to reliability we have been very happy with the choice.”

Big Sun allows customers who rent or don’t have optimal rooftop sunshine to participate in solar generation by purchasing and owning their own panels. This option offers a viable solution to individuals and businesses who may otherwise feel like they can’t take advantage of participating in traditional solar programs. In exchange for buying the solar panels, the customers receive automatic credits on their power bills every month for the next 25 years.

In the case of Rush Enterprises, this new system will lower its CPS Energy bill by several thousands of dollars per month. The panels do more than lower costs, however, as they represent part of Rush Enterprise’s ongoing effort to increase the use of alternative energy.

“Installing solar carports at our Peterbilt dealership allowed us to protect our new vehicle inventory from the elements and makes it easier for everyone in the San Antonio community to own solar,” said Derrek Weaver, executive vice president of Rush Enterprises.

The installation sends 1.8 million kilowatt-hours to the grid per year, which can power approximately 125 homes. It also provides an estimated 766,640 kWh annually to the dealership.

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Solar Installation in a Class of Its Own

Carport solar project brings savings to the classroom and the environment.

Students returning to the Smithtown High School West campus this fall will park under a new clean energy solar parking structure. The new solar installation brings the benefits of carports—a cost-effective and innovative way to generate power—to Smithtown, a sprawling eastern New York City suburb on Long Island.

Solar carport with CORE1 inverters

The school district administration understood the carport solar project would significantly reduce the overall electricity bill for the campus. Those savings are now reinvested in educational programs, proving educational solar projects are an investment in the future, in both education and the environment.

By installing solar panels on a parking structure, Smithtown High School West can now leverage this otherwise under-utilized surface to produce clean electricity and actively lower energy costs every day. The system was installed by Sunrise Power Solutions, the leading solar energy partner to the K-12 educational market in the New York area.

“This is a popular option among the K-12 municipal industry as money saved from lower energy bills can be directly reallocated back into education,” said Kristian Ingebrigtsen, chief operations officer at Sunrise Power Solutions.Solar carport

The carport features 5,421 JA Solar panels and 29 SMA SUNNY TRIPOWER CORE1 inverters. The CORE1 products were ultimately selected for this project because of their flexibility,

reliability and competitive cost, which the school district considered as factors that would benefit the community.

“We were proud to work on this project as we know it will benefit the community for years to come,” said Ingebrigtsen .

The project has a total size of 2.06 MW and an estimated annual output of 3.345 KWH. Based on projections, the parking structure will offset 90% of the energy production for the campus, reducing both budget expenses and the amount of carbon in the environment.

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Argentinian Company Unearths Clean, Renewable Technology

In Cerro Negro Córdoba, Argentina, sits the Fluorita Cerro Negro hybrid PV-diesel plant. It powers a mining operation that specializes in fluorite extraction and processing, without any grid service to power its operations. Historically, the facility has used diesel generators to keep the power on. This process previously required 42 liters of diesel fuel per hour of operation.

To achieve cost-savings efficiencies and utilize cleaner, renewable technology, the facility has now transitioned to a new PV-diesel hybrid solution. The project features two SMA Sunny Tripower CORE1-50 inverters. In total, the project is estimated to produce more than 150,000 annual kilowatt-hours of energy. The PV system also includes 600 Amerisolar panels on a Magnelis® steel structure and one SMA Hybrid Controller S.

The installation is expected to generate a savings of 45,000 liters (11,800 gallons) of fuel per year, preventing approximately 135 tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere each year—the equivalent of planting 7,158 trees annually. But the benefits of the installation at the plant extend beyond this environmental benefit.

CORE1 commercial inverter“SMA provides a complete hybrid generation solution with additional features for full integration
between inverters and PPC,” said Juan José Aparicio, system engineer at Ascentio Technologies. “The implemented solution also has a friendly interface that allows remote support, a specialized SCADA solution through Sunny Portal, on-site weather information and performance ratio calculation with real-time trend analysis to simplify activities from O&M.”

When possible, the Hybrid Controller (HyCon) allows PV energy to be used with priority over the energy from the generator. HyCon also protects generators against common problems related to reverse power, the power factor or spinning reserve assurance.

At the facility-level, full integration and digital remote management ultimately made fault detection, isolation and recovery services simple. These benefits are especially valuable in locations, such as Cerro Negro Córdoba, where specialized services are expensive due to distance and difficult access.

The engineering, procurement, construction, and commissioning of the installation at the hybrid PV-diesel plant was completed in 4 months, launching in late 2019.

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Paradise Energy Solar Carport Project Revs Up the Savings

When the team at Turn 14 Distribution, a premium vehicle performance warehouse distributor with corporate headquarters in Horsham, Pennsylvania, wanted to install a solar project, it turned to the experts at Paradise Energy. Paradise Energy is a full-service solar installation company that provides turnkey, grid-tied solar installations throughout the mid-Atlantic region for businesses, farmers and homeowners.

Paradise Energy

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Solar Power Shreds Carbon Pollution at Coconut Processing Facility in Guyana

On the banks of the tropical Pomeron River in Guyana sits the Pomeroon Oil coconut processing facility. Historically, the facility ran on 227 liters of diesel fuel daily. Now, solar panels harvest the sun’s energy to power the facility. The environmental impact is the equivalent to 6 acres of forest planted per day, creating perfect cyclical harmony for a location that processes fruit.

Pomeroon Oil coconut processing facility

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Central American Clothing Manufacturer Decks Out Its Facilities with Solar Energy

Pinehurst MFG, a distinguished textile manufacturing company, is trusted with clothing production by world-renowned brands such as ADIDAS. The company now powers its operations using a solar system with SMA inverters.

Commercial solar Honduras

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Hilton Hotel Upgrades to Energy Independence

Nestled in the exclusive Villa Fontana area of Managua, Nicaragua, lies the modern DoubleTree by Hilton hotel. Guests have long relaxed in the spacious rooms featuring elegant décor and breathtaking views of Managua Lake. With the new solar installation, guests now also know they are supporting a business that isn’t dependent on fossil fuels.

Solar system Managua

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A Sunny Upgrade for Our Four-Legged Friends

Tucked into the northeast tip of Long Island lies the town of Southold. It’s a picturesque waterfront region with beaches, vineyards and now the first animal shelter in the state to be powered by solar energy.

Solar system drone photo

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Cattle Ranch Beefs Up Savings with Solar Energy

Argentina’s first solar energy plant for self-consumption earns attention!

Sistema solar comercial con SMA

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Solar Spotlight: Naghtaneqed School Graduates to a Cleaner, Quieter Campus

Hakai Energy Solutions Delivers a Solar Hybrid Integration Project for Students in Canada!

solar school projects

The Naghtaneqed Elementary School sits nestled in the expansive Nemaiah Valley, three hours southwest of Williams Lake, British Columbia. In this First Nations reserve and ranching community, the school has—until now—been fully powered by diesel electric gensets for more than 30 years.

High operating costs associated with fuel purchase and ongoing maintenance motivated the district to explore solar power. The reliance on diesel also introduced pollution and noise to the campus. Thanks to clean, renewable energy, those issues are drastically reduced concerns today. The Cariboo-Chilcotin district hired Hakai Energy Solutions to install a solar project expected to save the school $50,000 CAD, roughly $37,000 USD, in annual diesel costs.

In July 2019, the school district invested in a hybrid energy system that integrated solar energy production, advanced energy storage and an expandable inverter platform. Utilizing 140 high-output solar panels, 118 kilowatt-hours of lithium energy storage and SMA inverter technology, this system was designed to offset diesel consumption by reducing generator operation by 6,900 hours each year.

Impressively, Naghtaneqed School is expected to recoup its investment in roughly seven years through reduced fuel consumption of approximately 38,400 L every year, plus generator maintenance and replacement cost avoidance. Not to mention, emissions reductions are also estimated at 2,534,000 kilograms of CO2 over the 25-year lifespan of the system, equivalent to 19,500,000 kilometers driven by a car.

“We’ve used SMA products from day one, and they’re simply unbeatable in terms of reliability, functionality and serviceability,” said Jason Jackson, energy system designer with Hakai Energy Solutions. “Working in remote areas makes product selection vitally important. Over the years, we’ve worked with every major manufacturer of inverters, and these experiences have only reinforced our confidence in SMA products. Every employee in this company—from the installation crews to the finance department—is on the same page. From a team perspective, SMA offers the most dependable and bankable suite of products on the market.”

In November 2019, the solar hybrid integration project was completed at the school. The total size is 57.6-kilowatt PV with 120 kwh lithium (LiFePo)-based energy storage and features 45 and 60 kW gensets. Every year, an estimated 72 megawatt-hours will be generated. What kind of impact does that have on energy consumption? A full 80% of the school’s energy will now come from the sun.

This PV array includes Longi Solar72 cell Mono bi-facial solar panels, six Sunny Islands, 1 SMA multi-cluster box and one 50 kW SMA CORE1. The district received funding for the entire project through the Ministry of Education’s program for carbon neutral funding via a community improvement award from Clean Energy B.C. for the project.

“This project has helped us meet our goal of reducing our environmental impact and improved the quality of experiences students have on our campus,” said Alex Telford, manager of facilities and transportation for the Cariboo-Chilcotin district. “When you factor in the cost savings, it’s a win-win-win!”

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