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Giumarra Vineyards Corp.

Project Information

System Type: Ground Mount
Panel Type: Canadian Solar 225P
Panel Count: 2296
Inverter Type: Satcon Inverter
System Size: 516 kW DC

Location Information

City: Bakersfield
State: California

Ecological Impact

Giumarra's solar power system will produce enough clean electricity to offset any one of the following over the 25 year life of the system:

The carbon sequestered by
261,379
seedlings grown for 10 years.
The CO2 emissions from
1,142,801
gallons of gasoline consumed
The CO2 emissions from
424,741
bottles of BBQ propane burned.

 

The Challenge

In an environment of ever-increasing operating costs, Giumarra was looking to significantly reduce their energy costs. They developed a sustainability program that included strategies to reduce their electricity consumption throughout their growing and packing operations, and to develop distributed clean energy sources to offset costs and carbon emissions.

Key to Giumarra’s sustainability program is their first solar installation adjacent to their main production and cold storage facility in Bakersfield, California. The 2,296 panel, 516 kilowatt solar power system delivers one gigawatt -hour of electricity annually, enough to power over 200 homes and offset more than 24,000,000 pounds of CO2 emissions over the next 20 years.

The Solution – Beyond Solar
HelioPower started with an in-depth analysis of their energy use and numerous options to reduce their energy bill. This comprehensive approach to energy cost reduction was a critical factor in choosing HelioPower to design and install the solar panel system.

Step One – Install a Solar PV System

HelioPower provided turnkey design, engineering, construction, and utility commissioning for the 516 kW ground mounted solar installation. Successfully commissioned in September 2011, HelioPower overcame a challenging interconnection and delivered the project on schedule without a single change order.

Step Two – Move to a Solar-friendly Utility Tariff Schedule

HelioPower worked with Giumarra to move to a more advantageous tariff schedule to further reduce their energy bill. After installing solar and re-shaping their net energy load profile, moving to a new tariff schedule will generate an incremental 40% in annual utility savings.

Switching tariff plans reduces energy costs in two ways:

Tariff switching eliminates energy demand charges at no incremental cost to Giumarra. The PV system generates most of its energy during the peak period between noon and 6 pm, when energy is the most expensive, and with the addition of their solar power system, Giumarra is able to offset the higher per kWh charges of the solar-friendly tariff.

Tariff switching also generates bill credits: Not only is Giumarra able to avoid higher peak charges, they also accumulate significant bill credits at the peak period rate by selling unused power back through net metering, effectively offsetting most of their total bill. Their first bill included a significant credit.

Step Three – Document the Savings

System performance is monitored by HelioPower’s proprietary energy analytics software. The software is the system’s operations and maintenance watchdog, ensuring energy production capability is fully utilized.

Summary

With in-depth analysis and solutions provided by HelioPower, Giumarra successfully lowered their energy bill and implemented their sustainability plan. A new solar power system is now generating clean energy to offset their production facility usage. The move to a solar-friendly tariff is benefiting their operating budget with an additional 40% in overall energy savings.

About Giumarra Vineyards
Giumarra Vineyards Corp., based in Bakersfield, California, has been cultivating table grapes in the San Joaquin Valley for more than 80 years. Today, Giumarra Vineyards is one of the largest table grape growers in the U.S. and a leader in the produce industry with innovative farming practices and an extensive cross-breeding program. Giumarra represents an international network of fresh produce growers, distributors and marketers that encompass a full line of fresh fruits and vegetables. The company takes pride in a longstanding commitment and tradition of quality, reliability and innovation to feed the world in a healthy way.

Heliopower Giumarra Vineyards Case Study Nov 2011