Here are the C&I nominees for the 2022 Solar Builder Project of the Year Awards, sponsored by EagleView Technologies. Accurate data, virtual site assessments, and installation-ready designs will optimize your solar sales funnel and operations — learn more in this EagleView special report Breaking Down and Through Soft Costs.
Due to the amount of C&I category entries, we split them up into ground-mount and rooftop projects (some have a little of both, so we picked the category based on which we felt most integral / intriguing to the project’s story).
The form is at the bottom of the page. You are allowed to vote once per day from now until Friday Oct. 14 at midnight (EDT). (FYI: Our voting widget will let you vote more than once a day, but we filter these out in the back-end. Sorry, ballot stuffers). Winners will be announced and prominently featured in the Q4 issue of Solar Builder magazine and online in December.
Be sure to vote in every category!
El Rio Health
Tucson, Ariz. | 297 kWdc
El Rio Health partnered with SOLON Corp. to design and construct solar parking canopies in conjunction with new building construction and renovation at three of their Tucson, AZ locations. As a non-profit, saving money on utility bills was of utmost importance, and shaded parking for staff and patients was a valuable added benefit. This solar project includes three solar parking canopies totaling 16,926 square feet which provide 92 shaded parking spaces for patients and staff. This health center was built in an underserved part of the community. Adding shade for patrons and electrical utility bill savings for the non-profit was a win-win. SOLON assisted El Rio Health in securing $0 down financing and a 25-year locked-in cost per kWh with savings estimated at $1 million.
Golden, Colo. | 247 kW
Namaste Solar built solar carports and installed EV charging stations for the KONG Company in Spring of 2022, and in the last six months, the solar carports have produced enough electricity to power the creation of around 1 million dog toys. The install will offset 15% of energy production. The install was far from fun and games though, starting with a steel market disruption, which prompted proactive purchasing, budgeting, and scheduling from the Namaste Solar team. Next, Namaste Solar EPC and KONG tackled the creation of an under-decking system that catches precipitation that falls between the panels and then drains it into the landscaping nearby.
- Developer/EPC: Namaste Solar
- Installers: Namaste Solar (electrical), Terrasmart (canopy erection)
- Modules: Astronergy
- Inverters: CPS
- Racking: Terrasmart
UAHT Solar Training Lab and Array
University of Arkansas Hope – Texarkana | 1 MW
The University of Arkansas Hope – Texarkana (UAHT) will soon experience the benefits of a new solar array and a custom-built solar lab for its students. The 1 MW ground-mount solar array is estimated to save more than $4.8 million in utility costs, providing about 70% of the school’s baseline electrical energy consumption. In addition, the solar array will provide educational opportunities for students through a new solar lab being built along with the array. UAHT established Arkansas’s first solar energy technology degree program in 2020. The school’s nine-credit-hour Certificate of Proficiency in Solar Energy Technology program was adopted from Solar Energy International. Project developer, Entegrity Energy Partners collaborated with project partners who donated equipment for the hands-on lab.
- Developer / EPC / Installer: Entegrity Energy Partners
- Modules: First Solar
- Inverters: SMA America
- Racking: OMCO Solar / IronRidge
Zacapa, Guatemala | 9 MW
The 9 MW Zacapa Solar project is the largest behind-the-meter distributed solar generation project in Guatemala. It now provides more reliable and affordable power to a paper manufacturing business at a predetermined cost for the next 35 years. From high heat to many rolling hills, some of which were greater than 15 percent, this project faced myriad challenges. Stable electricity prices are critical to economic growth in Guatemala, particularly given the country’s large electricity price fluctuations, and inflation recently reaching an 11-year high. At present, roughly 40 percent of Guatemala’s electricity comes from fossil fuel-based generating plants.
- Developer: Kruger Energy
- EPC / Installer: Isotron
- Modules: First Solar
- Inverters: Power Electronics
- Mounting: Solar FlexRack
Fresno County Juvenile Justice Campus
Fresno, California | 3.8 MW
In March 2022, Fresno County and ForeFront Power completed a 3.84 MW solar energy system at the County’s Juvenile Justice Campus (JJC), the largest public sector solar project in Fresno County. The solar array will cover 80% of the adjacent JJC’s annual electricity usage. The County has joined Fresno City and multiple Fresno-area school districts in partnering with ForeFront Power to develop more than 54 MW of distributed solar energy and energy storage at numerous sites throughout the region. This 200-acre campus is primarily a medium-security detainment facility for minors in custody, but also offers them educational services as well specialized programs including the Floyd Farrow Substance Abuse Program, Planned Parenthood, Arts, and others. Fresno County was able to successfully procure the JJC solar energy system, along with a smart battery storage system in development for 2023, at no upfront cost to the County via a PPA.
- Developer: ForeFront Power
- EPC: Helix Electric
- Installer: Helix Electric
- Modules: LONGi
- Inverters: CPS
- Trackers: Nextracker
Cape Fear Solar Systems Warehouse
Wilmington N.C. | 51 kW
Cape Fear Solar Systems designed and installed a solar array on their new warehouse in the shape of an American flag to honor U.S. veterans – an array design the team had been planning on for years – finished just in time for Memorial Day. The rooftop flag is highly visible from air traffic and the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge. With the Wilmington International Airport just 5 miles away—planes have an optimal view of the rooftop American Flag when flying in and out of Wilmington.
Mercersburg Printing – Round Roof Installation
Mercersburg, Pa. | 447.72 kW
Mercersburg Printing is a family-owned small business in rural Pennsylvania, and this 447.72 kW solar system involved several challenges. The most visible problem was finding a way to attach rectangular solar modules to an old building with curved wooden trusses covered by a round shingle roof. Research was conducted to find an attachment that could connect to the building structure while maintaining the water seal of the shingles on the curved surface. During installation, the crew used string lines, levels, and a little creative spacing to help blend the flatness of the modules along the curved contour of the roof to yield an aesthetically pleasing final product. Due to project size, the utility required a utility-grade Intertie Protective Relay to be installed. The complete system was installed, commissioned, and connected to the building communications system so the various components can be monitored locally and remotely to ensure proper operation and electrical production.
- Developer / EPC / Installer: Paradise Energy Solutions
- Modules: Axitec Solar
- Inverters: SolarEdge
- Mounting: IronRidge
University of California Riverside
Riverside, Calif. | 474 kW
Stronghold Engineering Inc. was hired by the University of California, Riverside (UCR) to design, construct and install PV system on two large, targeted campus buildings to provide maximum generation while preserving the existing architectural characteristics and minimizing the overall impact on the building. To accomplish the stated objectives, Stronghold initially proceeded with a roof retrofit after determining that some areas of the roof, previously thought to be impractical for array placement, could be utilized if the roof was retrofitted to support the increased weight. The retrofit gave the University much more usable space than originally anticipated. The dual-tilt, low-profile, East/West facing system was crucial for added power plus maintaining the overall architectural scheme and look of the campus.
- Developer: UCR/Stronghold Engineering Inc.
- EPC / Installer: Stronghold Engineering Inc.
- Modules: Talesun
- Inverters: SolarEdge
- Racking: PanelClaw
The Center School Solar and Roof Restoration Project
Somerset, N.J. | 611 kW
This solar system is unique because it successfully handled multiple needs for The Center School, a New Jersey-based special education school. The multi-pronged project included a 611-kW combination rooftop and carport array and a much-needed roof restoration and newly paved parking lot. Given that the yearly budget of the school was already fully allocated, it required innovative accounting to engineer a financing agreement that would handle both the repair needs and the sustainability goals of the school in one project. The system is expected to save The Center School more than $30,000 a year.
- Developer: Standard Solar
- EPC: EZnergy Renewable Energy Solutions
- Installer: Eznergy Renewable Energy Solutions
- Modules: Qcells
- Inverters: CPS, SolarEdge
- Carport: Genmounts,
- Rooftop mounting: Unirac
Parallel Products Duchaine Boulevard Recycling Facility
New Bedford, Mass. | 1.9 MW
Parallel Products of New England (PPNE) just completed the Duchaine Boulevard project, a center for processing and technology development—a campus for recycling as well as the production of green energy. Many of its clients are subject to zero-landfill policies, so Parallel Products repurposes and recycles as much of its unsaleable materials as possible. The facility houses technology for solar energy, green energy production, and recycling recovery. So, the solar energy generated at the facility reduces energy costs and fossil fuel consumption for energy, ultimately resulting in decreasing the company’s carbon footprint and contributing power back to the grid. The facility has increased it solar capacity by 1.9 MW, part of its greater 4 MW solar initiative on campus and can now even sell power directly to the grid.
- Developer: Parallel Products
- EPC: Parallel Products
- Installers: ECS Electrical
- Modules: CSUN
- Inverters: Solectria
- Racking: S-5!
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