Grass Valley vet goes solar
Special to The Union
Grass Valley Veterinary Hospital recently installed solar panels provided by Plan It Solar, of Penn Valley.
“As our equipment improves, the hospital is using ever more energy,” said hospital owner Dr. Mace Dekker. “We know with dwindling oil reserves that energy costs will rise in the future, so we chose to make this long-term investment to keep our costs low, protecting both our clients and the environment.”
The facility on Rough and Ready Highway just west of Grass Valley has enough sun exposure on the roof to host 108 solar electric panels. This provides most or all of the business’ power during the spring and summer months and two-thirds of the needs on an annual basis.
Solar panels are rated 210 watts each, 22,680 total, and were made in the United States by Evergreen Solar, considered one of the most environmentally conscientious solar panel manufacturers in the world.
Using American-made panels was important to hospital CFO Donna Dekker.
“We need to encourage and protect green American jobs,” she said.
State and federal solar incentives cut the cost of the system, just over $100,000. The hospital received a rebate from Pacific Gas and Electric Co. of more than $11,300, a federal grant for more than $32,500, and tax incentives that could reduce the cost by an additional $30,000 or more.
The final net investment will be around $37,000 for a system designed to reduce a $7,700 annual electric bill to $1,000 a year. (This is an estimated 5-year payback when factoring in PG&E rate increases.) Plan It Solar estimates the system will eliminate more than 18,000 pounds of local air pollution every year.
Installation was by Plan It Solar’s sister company, California Solar Electric Co.
“Last year, Grass Valley was ranked ninth in the state when it comes to the number of solar systems per household, and the number of solar-powered businesses continues to climb,” said Plan It Solar owner Martin Webb.
Grass Valley Veterinary Hospital is at 11101 Rough and Ready Highway, Grass Valley, and can be reached at (530) 273-7272. Plan It Solar is at 17487 Penn Valley Drive, Penn Valley, and can be reached at (530)432-3776.
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