Solar power is an important part of the Santa Clara County Climate Change & Sustainability Program, and in November of 2010, the Board of Supervisors approved an update to the County’s zoning ordinances to specifically address the installation of commercial solar systems. The County’s commitment to using renewable energy at its facilities has created over 95 temporary local jobs and encouraged homeowners, business owners and other entities with the unincorporated areas of the county to do the same.
Borrego Solar worked on two of the nine total parking lot installations for the County of Santa Clara, one in San Jose and the other in Gilroy. The first installation at the Valley Health Center in San Jose began in June of 2011. This solar energy system is 441 kW DC in size and is comprised of 1,876 Yingli solar modules. The second solar power installation at the Gilroy Health Clinic was installed in August of 2011. This installation is 706 kW DC in size and is comprised of 2,716 Yingli solar modules. Both installations took advantage of expansive outdoor parking areas where the installations were installed on elevated shade structures. These solar shade structures are doing double duty, providing shade to over 400 outdoor parking spaces.
The two Santa Clara County solar installations were financed through Borrego Solar’s integrated power purchase agreement (PPA). This in-house solar financing allowed for the County of Santa Clara to install the solar shade structures at the San Jose and Gilroy facilities for no money down. Per the PPA agreement with Borrego Solar, the County will purchase the clean renewable energy the installations produce at competitive rates that are less than what they’re paying the local utility. Over the 20 year term of the PPA, Borrego Solar will maintain and operate the installations, and the County will see energy savings of over $1 million.