How a California mushroom grower reduced its energy costs by 60 percent with solar + storage

Revel Mushroom grower solar project

Hokto Kinoko, a grower and producer of mushroom superfoods in California, is going to reduce its energy costs by 60 percent thanks to a Revel Energy commercial solar + storage installation.

“They were consuming a lot of electricity,” explains Martin Brix, Revel Energy VP of Solutions. “Solar power alone was not going to drastically lower their power bill.” Brix determined there was a need to add an Energy Storage System to knock off peak demand charges.

Prior to Revel Energy installing a comprehensive commercial solar power system, the building used over 2,710,000 kWh per year. Hokto was spending a significant portion of operating costs in electrical usage and demand charges. Adding to expenses, the facility needed a new commercial roof.

A total of 2,960 360W monocrystalline solar panels and a 285 kW – 405 kWh energy storage system were installed. Hokto will supplement their energy consumption from San Diego Gas & Electric with 60% renewable energy.

“They were essentially able to save a major portion of their power bill with this solution,” Brix explained. “By taking advantage of the savings, 30% Federal Tax Credit and accelerated depreciation, they offset the cost of their new roof. Solar was the vehicle to offset a major expense… in this case it was a new commercial roof.”

Combining multiple technologies is important for capturing maximum energy savings. In this case, Hokto now has a new, more energy efficient roof backed by a standard commercial roof warranty. California businesses spending $1,500 or more in monthly electricity charges stand to benefit greatly from commercial solar and other renewable energy technologies.

Considering rising energy costs, Hokto Kinoko will save an estimated $9.7 million over 25 years. Future expenses like these are common for California businesses. A commercial solar installation is essential to control California’s rising utility costs, averaging 6% growth per year.

Researchers at Hokto Kinoko believe mushrooms are the ultimate super food and their state-of-the-art facility in San Marcos, Calif., is used for production and research.

— Solar Builder magazine



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