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11 May 2011
BoDean Company "Flips Switch" on Solar
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Company Continues to Green Its Operation
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In keeping with a continuing mission to green its operations, BoDean Company’s Mark West Quarry in Santa Rosa, California, will soon switch to a new solar power system recently installed by Stellar Energy GP, Inc. The system – designed to meet 100 percent of BoDean’s electrical billing needs – will go online Wednesday, May 11, during a “Flip the Switch” ceremony, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Mark West Quarry, 4611 Porter Creek Road in Santa Rosa.
An estimated 200 dignitaries, including state and local officials, and other guests will attend the “flipping of the switch” to offset the quarry’s energy consumption from the power grid while maintaining full quarry operations. The ceremony will be followed by live entertainment, food and refreshments.
Coordinating installation of the new 809.34 kilowatt (kW) system was Stellar Energy, a leading engineering, procurement and construction firm in the renewable energy industry, based in Rohnert Park, California.
BoDean Company is one of the foremost suppliers of quality crushed rock and asphaltic concrete in the greater Santa Rosa area and northern Napa County.
Bill Williams, BoDean general manager, believes that when the system begins generating energy, Mark West Quarry will become the first quarry in the world to be 100 percent reliant on solar power.
“The solar system fits right in with our desire to be an eco-efficient company,” said Williams. “We want to do things efficiently for financial reasons, but we also want to do it in an environmentally responsible way. Sometimes those things go hand in hand.”
Stellar Energy founder and board member Joseph Marino lauds the commitment of BoDean Company to green practices, saying, “I’m very proud that they chose to ‘go solar’ and that Stellar Energy was able to earn their trust on such a complex project. Such efforts are not just for the organization buying the solar energy systems. It’s for the whole community. They are creating green power and reducing their carbon footprint, which benefits everyone.
In addition to needing electricity for crushing and conveying the rock at the quarry, BoDean also requires energy to run an on-site wash plant, which is used in washing rock for certain types of products, such as sand. “We take what is very muddy water, and turn it into clear, clean water. Over half the energy consumed at the quarry goes toward operation of this wash plant; it takes a tremendous amount of energy to pump those large volumes of water and to press the water out of the mud,” Williams said.
The Mark West Quarry photovoltaic system is expected to generate more than 1,120,000 kilowatt hours of green energy per year. The electricity produced by the solar panels will offset enough energy to power 160 typical American homes for a full year. The solar system is expected to recoup its $3 million cost in about seven years through energy savings.
BoDean’s new system is composed of three ground-mounted solar electric arrays on concrete pads. It also features 3,444 Yingli 235 Watt solar panels in a series of 14 modules, an internet-based monitoring system to measure performance and an automated, programmable solar panel cleaning system - important for removing the dust created by quarrying operations.
Construction began on the project in November 2010 and required approximately five months to complete. 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.
To help finance the project, Stellar helped BoDean identify and apply for several programs that will help offset a portion of the capital costs for the system. A federal “grant in lieu of tax credit” program will provide a reimbursement of 30 percent 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 2011, and performance-based rebates offered by PG&E over a period of five years.
About BoDean Company
Incorporated in 1988, BoDean Company is a chief supplier of quality crushed rock and asphaltic concrete to Sonoma County and northern Napa County. Owners Belinda and Dean Soiland have made BoDean Company an industry leader in sustainability, which includes their introduction of eco-friendly mining operations along with their commitment to become the world’s first 100 percent solar powered quarry. In addition, Bodean Company is dedicated to the extensive use of recycled materials in the quarry production process, while pursuing a managed reclamation plan that coincides with quarry operations. For more information, go to bodeancompany.com.
About Stellar Energy GP, Inc.
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