A SunPower Helix Roof solar project is delivering clean electricity to the Santa Rosa Whole Foods Market where a Helix Storage system is also installed to further decrease demand charges for the organic grocer.
The grocery sector is a hot market for solar installations. SunPower reports that its installed more than 2.6 MW at eight Whole Foods Market locations across two states, with one site combining an integrated storage system. These projects are expected to help the natural and organic grocer replace 25 percent of traditional grid energy use on average per store.
The California Whole Foods Markets with SunPower solar are in Cupertino, Fremont, Los Altos, Roseville, San Jose, Santa Clara, and Santa Rosa. The Santa Rosa location also has a 483-kilowatt (900-kilowatt hour) Helix Storage system installed to further decrease demand charges, backed by a SunPower demand savings guarantee. Combined with a solar system operating at a store in Reno, Nevada, these projects are expected to generate more than 3.9 million kWh of electricity annually.
SunPower designed, installed, and is operating the eight solar projects for Whole Foods Market. An additional 2 megawatts are planned across another 11 stores in California, expected to be online in early 2020.
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“Since we opened our first store in 1980, Whole Foods Market has been an industry leader in environmental sustainability and energy management,” said Aaron Daly, global director of energy management at Whole Foods Market. “These solar projects from SunPower support our core value of advancing environmental stewardship in the communities where Team Members and customers work and live.”
As the No. 1 commercial solar provider in America, SunPower continues to leverage its market-leading storage experience that enables businesses like Whole Foods Market to maximize their solar investment. After a little more than one year on the market, interest in Helix Storage remains high with a pipeline exceeding 110 megawatts and attach rates of greater than 35 percent.
— Solar Builder magazine
SunPower has secured financing commitments for its residential solar lease program (with Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital and SunStrong Capital Holdings) that will make its financing provisions “more attractive” and will supplement the solar loan and cash sale alternatives currently offered by the company. SunPower has provided solar lease financing options to customers since 2010.
The new fund is structured as a levered tax equity partnership with a multi-party forward purchase commitment, allowing generation of upfront cash margins for residential solar leases. The financing commitments for this new fund are being provided largely from a repeat group of loan and equity providers that continue to have strong long-term relationships with SunPower and Hannon Armstrong.
“SunPower’s strong suite of acquisition options, and our technologically superior solar energy solutions, allows us to continue meeting growing customer demand,” said Tom Werner, SunPower CEO and chairman of the board. “Thanks to our financing partners, who share our clean energy future goals, we’re able to ensure funding to meet the needs of those customers who desire a leasing option.”
Additionally, SunStrong has acquired a residential lease portfolio from Capital Dynamics. This transaction adds to SunStrong’s existing high-quality asset portfolio with the addition of more than 41 MW and 5,100 residential systems.
“This transaction reinforces SunStrong’s belief in the long-term value of owning high quality solar systems and SunPower’s commitment to providing on-going products and services to our customers,” said Werner.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch acted as the sole structuring and placement agent for the cash equity and multi-draw term loan, as well as the sole tax equity investor. Additional equity capital was provided by SunPower, Hannon Armstrong and their joint venture SunStrong, which holds equity interests in more than 55,000 residential solar energy systems.
Last year, SunPower’s U.S. residential business saw annual deployment growth of more than 15 percent, bringing the total number of American homes with SunPower solar to over 275,000 consumers.
— Solar Builder magazine
West Valley-Mission Community College District (WVMCCD) recently selected SunPower to deploy a fully integrated solar and storage project across its West Valley and Mission College campuses in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley. SunPower Helix Carport systems installed will total 5.4 megawatts, allowing the District to offset approximately 75 percent of grid electricity use with solar energy. A Helix Storage system will be installed at each campus, totaling a combined 2 megawatts (3,800 kilowatt hours) and delivering significant demand charge savings to WVMCCD.
This SunPower solar initiative will be the second for WVMCCD. Since 2011, 2.2 megawatts of highly-customized SunPower solar carports operating at both West Valley and Mission Colleges have generated an estimated $860,000 in electricity savings each year to the District. In addition to renewable energy, the colleges are home to a total of five U.S. Green Building Council LEED certified buildings, and feature drought tolerant landscaping and bioswales across campuses.
“Our district has a long-standing commitment to creating environmentally responsible and highly sustainable campuses for students, faculty and staff,” said Ed Maduli, Vice Chancellor of Administrative Services, West Valley-Mission Community College District. “Renewable energy from SunPower has proven to be a valuable investment and a critical component to reaching our goals, and we look forward to building on our efforts with storage which will allow us to avoid expensive utility demand charges for years to come.”
Solar-and-storage system construction is planned to commence this fall, with completion expected in 2020. The project is funded through local Measure W which authorizes the District to issue bonds to finance facility and technology updates. The District will own its solar power system, with SunPower providing operations and maintenance, as well as a performance guarantee for 25 years.
— Solar Builder magazine
In 2010, SunPower installed a 1.2-MW solar power system at the Bed Bath & Beyond headquarters in Union, New Jersey. One decade later, with over 21 megawatts of SunPower solar deployed at 41 locations across six states, Bed Bath & Beyond is continuing to expand its commitment to renewable energy by adding a nearly 500-kW SunPower system at its corporate office.
To date, the Bed Bath & Beyond 41 SunPower systems have generated over 125 million kWh of solar energy, offsetting over 88,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. Over their 25-year lifespan, it is expected that these solar projects will produce over 1 billion kWh.
“Bed Bath & Beyond continues to demonstrate a commitment to renewable energy for its business and the communities in which it operates, and we’re proud to have them as such a visionary solar partner,” said Nam Nguyen, SunPower Executive Vice President, Commercial Americas. “More corporations across the U.S. are choosing solar to cost-effectively meet electricity demand, and SunPower’s complete solar solutions are designed to maximize value for these customers.”
As Bed Bath & Beyond celebrates their 10th Earth Day as a beneficiary of clean, solar energy, the company’s commitment to renewable energy remains strong. Solar power is good for the environment, while providing cost savings benefits as well, which allows improvements to operations that help Bed Bath & Beyond better serve their customers.
In 2017, Bed Bath & Beyond ranked 12th for corporate solar users in the U.S., reflecting the company’s commitment to offsetting electricity consumption with renewable solar power.
— Solar Builder magazine
While solar adoption in the U.S. ticks upward according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, SunPower continues to capture a large share of the distributed generation solar market. In Wood Mackenzie’s latest U.S. PV Leaderboard report made available this month, SunPower remained the No. 1 provider of commercial solar solutions for a second year running. In addition, the company remained among the top residential solar panel manufacturers for the second consecutive year.
Commercial Solar Business
An innovator in the space, SunPower is focused on being the top distributed energy company in North America. SunPower focuses on integrating its high performance solar systems with storage and intelligent software to deliver maximum value to customers, including demand charge savings, monitoring, data analytics and optimization, energy management and over time wholesale grid services.
As a result, SunPower has a commercial solar installed base of 1.6 GW across its unique go-to-market platform of direct and indirect channels, with a number of Fortune 500 customers. Eight of the top 10 corporate solar buyers in America identified by the Solar Energy Industries Association are SunPower customers – including Ikea, Macy’s, and Target – contributing to SunPower’s position as the market share leader. To date, the company has installed 9 megawatt hours of storage at over 20 customer sites.
Residential Solar Business
Last year, SunPower’s U.S. residential business saw annual deployment growth of more than 15 percent bringing the total number of American homes with SunPower solar to over 236,000. The company expanded its position in the new homes channel, partnering with 18 of the top 20 California new-home builders; and earlier this month, launched its A-Series panel to deliver up to 415 watts for U.S. homeowners.
— Solar Builder magazine