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New Solar Installation Reduces Energy Costs

California’s commercial energy prices are the third highest in the nation and operating state-of-the-art service facilities require a reliable energy source. Earlier this year, Hawthorne Cat installed a 492 kW solar array on the roof of their Rancho Bernardo headquarters to address the rising costs of energy. Designed to produce 100 percent of annual electricity usage, the new solar installation features 1,348 Caterpillar solar panels and a data acquisition system to monitor energy production.

Hawthorne Cat opted for a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), in which a third-party investor owns the energy system and arranges for the design, permitting, financing, and installation of a solar energy system on a customer’s property at no cost. The power generated from the solar array is then sold back to the customer at a lower fixed rate than the local utility’s retail rate.

Since solar power is a clean form of energy, the Hawthorne Cat solar installation will have a positive environmental impact. The offset of energy that would otherwise come from the grid will reduce an estimated 560 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, which is equivalent to taking 120 cars off the road. A preliminary analysis even estimated that the solar array will produce 788,816 kWh in the first year.

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