For our 2016 parking lot expansion, BriarPatch teamed up with California Solar Electric Company to integrate renewable energy into the project. The end result is a state of the art steel structure that holds 680 high-performance solar panels, making it the largest photovoltaic solar system constructed over a parking lot in Nevada County. In addition to producing as much as 55% of the store’s electricity needs, the 469,000-kilowatt array provides shade for 48 parking spaces and a central walkway.
Food stores consume lots of energy due to the continuous operation of refrigeration systems. The solar array allows BriarPatch to significantly reduce its energy impact while dramatically reducing its annual utility costs by $75,000, saving members $3 million over the guaranteed 25-year life of the panels. The solar struture also allows for future renewable energy expansions, starting with the addition of electric vehicle charging stations.
Locally owned and operated, California Solar shares BriarPatch’s vision of a community focus on environmentally sensitive design. Since its founding in 2000, Cal Solar has installed more than 850 solar electric systems that generate over 5 megawatts of solar electricity. This includes the design and installation of some of California’s first grid-tied solar electric systems and some of the most unique commercial systems in the country.
This project is a great example of how renewable energy can keep our community strong by providing local businesses with multi-use design solutions that maximize long-term profit while reducing environmental impact.
Photos by Josh Bumgarner
THE BRIARPATCH COOPERATIVE OF NEVADA COUNTY RECOGNIZES
THE COMMUNITY OF LOCAL DESIGNERS & BUILDERS WHO
CONTRIBUTED TO THE PARKING EXPANSION & SOLAR PROJECT.
JEFF GOLD & ASSOCIATES – SITE & STRUCTURE DESIGN
NELSON ENGINEERING – CIVIL ENGINEERING
MCPROUD & ASSOCIATES – LANDSCAPE DESIGN
MIYAMOTO INTERNATIONAL, INC. – STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING
CES ENGINEERING – ELECTRICAL DESIGN
TRU-LINE BUILDERS, INC. – GENERAL CONTRACTOR
CALIFORNIA SOLAR ELECTRIC CO. – SOLAR DESIGN & CONTRACTOR
HANSEN BROS. ENTERPRISES – GRADING CONTRACTOR
DMCE, INC. – CONCRETE CONTRACTOR
SIERRA METAL FABRICATORS – STEEL FRAME FABRICATION
WEISS LANDSCAPING – LANDSCAPE CONTRACTOR
COMPLETED: OCTOBER 2016