Solar Expertise, Financing, And Technology Align
Vista Solar approached Airdrome Orchards about going solar in 2011, and the conditions could not have been riper. Airdrome was impressed by Vista Solar’s professionalism and solar proposal, and financially, Airdrome’s preferred lender took advantage of 100% bonus depreciation and tax incentives. Consequently, the lender could offer an operating lease with an agricultural rate that allowed Airdrome to be cash-flow positive from day one.
“Everything aligned as to what Vista Solar could build, how they were going to do it, and the lenders working with us. It put us in a place where we couldn’t not go solar,” said John Fumia, owner of Airdrome.
SunPower Reputation and Products Ripe For Picking
Given the space constraints of Airdrome’s rooftops, Vista Solar recommended SunPower solar panels in their turnkey proposal. High-efficiency solar panels were a crucial element in reaching the energy production targets and achieving the best long-term savings. Airdrome did not need much convincing, however, because they were already aware of SunPower’s reputation for high-quality solar solutions.
“You are always concerned about what the performance is going to be for a solar system, but based on using SunPower panels, we’re confident that the system should perform well in the long run,” said Fumia.
In just the first twelve months of operation, these SunPower panels were projected to produce 377,827 kWh, all the while Airdrome avoided over $100,000 of grid electrical costs.
Vista Solar Goes The Extra Mile
Although the project was finished on time and on budget, Vista Solar didn’t stop there in helping Airdrome maximize their solar system’s value. At the signing of the initial agreement, the California Solar Initiative rebate program had expired, but by the time the system was commissioned, the program had been replenished. Vista Solar guided Airdrome through the filing process, helping to save them an additional $35,000. Over the next 25 years, Airdrome’s savings are anticipated to climb to approximately $3.5 million, which includes all the leasing payments and the buy-out of the system. Cash-flow positive from the start, their new SunPower solar solution enables Airdrome Orchards to keep more of its budget focused on its core business for the future.