SB Bike and Loa Tree Unveil their New 8.5kW Solar System
Yesterday, we had the pleasure of joining SB Bike, Community Environmental Council, and Asteri Solar at BiCi Centro as we unveiled their new 8.5kW SunPower system built by Good Energy Solar. SB Bike with Ed France at the helm was the test pilot for Asteri Solar’s maiden voyage as a funder for non-profit solar projects and Good Energy Solar had the privilege to build the solar plane. In addition to Asteri funding the project, Good Energy donated the installation labor and administrative costs to make the vision a reality.
The project was made possible through the coalescence of an idea many years in the making starting with Megan Birney at the CEC which led in part to the formation of Asteri Solar by Matt Riley. They recognized that the non-profit sector was presented significant challenges with going solar in both fund raising for the capital investment and financial gap without being able to utilize the 30% federal tax credit.
Asteri funded the up-front cost to purchase the system and can utilize the tax credit. The power purchase agreement allows SB Bike to pay monthly installments to Asteri that are lower than their previous electric bill and thus lower their operating costs. Around year 6 of the agreement, ownership of the system will transfer to SB Bike and they will continue to operate with free energy for the life of the system.
This paradigm for funding solar projects for local non-profits is the basis for the new CEC Solarize Non-Profit Pilot program which was launched at the event last evening as well. Asteri plans to fund local non-profits that align with missions of community improvement to install up to 200kW in the Santa Barbara area. Good Energy Solar is excited to participate in the pilot program and bring solar to a part of our local market that was previously untouchable.
It was inspiring to meet with such engaging people with the common goal of making our community less reliant on fossil fuels. I think I speak for everyone at Good Energy when I say that we’re incredibly honored to be a part of the project. If you know or are involved with a local non-profit that may be a good candidate for the pilot, let us know! Become a bigger part of our community roof-top revolution and reaching our community goal to 100% renewable energy!