Coast Citrus Completes 622 kW Roof-Top Solar Array on San Diego Headquarters

The solar energy system is expected to save the company 30 percent on energy costs annually

Coast Citrus Completes 622 kW Roof-Top Solar Array on San Diego Headquarters

Coast Citrus Distributors, a wholesaler of fruits and vegetables in the United States and Mexico since 1950, is proud to announce the completion and operation of a 622 kilowatt roof-mount solar energy system on its headquarters in San Diego. Borrego Solar Systems Inc. developed, designed and built Coast Citrus’ solar project. The system will generate approximately 1.1 million kilowatt-hours of energy in its first year, which will provide enough power to meet about 40 percent of the facility’s current energy needs, resulting in an estimated 30 percent reduction in energy costs.

“We took a hard look at our energy expenditure and the utility rates we were paying, which are expected to continue rising, and realized that by investing in solar we would be able to save money and mitigate risk over the long-term,” said Coast Citrus Chief Financial Officer Isabel Freeland. “Going solar fits with a few core values we have here at Coast Citrus, which are to provide value to our customers and to continue improving our operations. Solar enables us to cut our energy costs and shrink our carbon footprint, making us a more efficient organization in more ways than one.”

Coast Citrus received incentive funds from the California Solar Initiative and financed the remaining amount with a seven year operational lease with Farmers and Merchant Bank. The lease enabled the company to go solar without paying any upfront costs and realize cost savings as soon as the system began operating.

“Coast Citrus is a perfect candidate for incorporating on-site solar generation into its energy management strategy,” said Kyle Kearney, VP of project development—Western region for Borrego Solar. “From ripening rooms that need to be kept at set temperatures to freezers, refrigerators and packing machinery, the company relies on a vast array of energy intensive equipment that needs to be running constantly. By deploying solar, Coast Citrus is able to reduce the amount of energy it needs to buy from the utility and minimizes its exposure to increasing energy costs while it continues to expand operations.”

Throughout the term of the lease, the system is expected to generate enough emissions-free, clean energy to offset more than 2,200 tons of carbon dioxide—the equivalent of offsetting emissions from 4.2 million miles driven or the amount sequestered by more than 1,460 acres of U.S. forests.

About Coast Citrus

First established in 1947, Coast Citrus Distributors (also known as Coast Tropical) has developed a solid reputation in the produce business.  Mr. Robert Alvarez started the Company by selling oranges out of a truck parked along the side of 5th Avenue in downtown, San Diego.  Today, Coast Citrus Distributors has become an international fresh fruit and vegetables importer, exporter and distributor with locations in San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Florida, Texas, Mexico, Central and South America.

In May 2010, shortly after Mr. Robert Alvarez’s death, the Employees of Coast Citrus Distributors acquired approximately 70% of the company under an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).  This fulfilled his dream of keeping the company running for those that worked it.


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