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Commercial Solar for Valley Fine Foods
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Valley Fine Foods

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Benicia, CA


Valley Fine Foods strives to create healthy foods in a healthy way. This commitment extends beyond quality ingredients to include the energy necessary to produce their delicious pasta products. For years this energy consumption has been offset with the purchase of renewable energy certificates (REC’s) in support of wind energy development in Benton County, Indiana. These certificates are a great way to reduce or eliminate your carbon footprint if your location doesn’t have any renewable resources. The challenge for Valley Fine Foods was to determine which renewable resource they could develop at their Benicia, CA location which would be more cost effective than purchasing REC’s.

We actually had several projects going on simultaneously... Stellar Energy worked with our schedules, and their crew coordinated with our maintenance team, so there was no disruption to production. – Ryan T, President

Valley Fine Foods determined that wind energy was not feasible due to permitting restrictions. The only other renewable resource available at their location was solar. It turned out that the amount of solar they could fit on their roof would eliminate 85% of their electric bill for their largest meter. Stellar Energy’s designers and project managers were able to work safely above the pasta making facility, even while they were in full-scale production, without any interruption of day-to-day operations. The solar panels were mounted on a tilted rack facing south east. Another major solution was the fact that Stellar Energy installed hundreds of roof penetrations but the roof warranty was kept in place and not diminished by this installation.

The 483 kW solar array will produce enough energy to power approximately 69 homes and save just over 1,000,000 lbs of CO2 per year. This is equivalent to taking 94 cars off the road or planting 3,274 trees. In addition to these environmental benefits Valley Fine Foods will have great financial benefits as well. Stellar Energy has estimated that the system will save approximately $140,000 in utility costs the first year alone. The project will have a payback period of 7.4 years with an IRR of 16.7%

Download the Case Study (pdf)


  • Energy Capacity: 483 kW DC
  • # of Modules: 2,058 Yingli PV Modules
  • Type of Mount: Fixed tilt roof mount
  • Type of Inverter: 1 SMA Sunny Central inverter
  • Monitoring System: SolarMagic data monitoring with weather station

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