Vista Solar Helps City of Santa Clara Advance Renewable Energy Goals

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Annually, the City of Santa Clara purchases of over 3.2 million kWh of 100% wind and solar power and installs solar electric systems on City-owned facilities. Recently, the City of Santa Clara partnered with Vista Solar to install a solar system at Henry Schmidt Park as one of several projects funded by an Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) from the Department of Energy.

Henry Schmidt Park Solar Array

Working with Vista Solar went really smoothly. We had great communication from Vista Solar, and we are really happy with our solar system

To continue a strong legacy of environmental stewardship, the City of Santa Clara set ambitious goals. One goal was aimed at supporting 30 MW of customer-installed solar power by 2017, and another targeted achieving LEED Silver certification for new construction and large renovation projects. With a grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the city took several steps towards those and other environmental objectives. The grant funded LED pedestrian signals, LED lighting in City of Santa Clara buildings, retro-commissioning of heating and air conditioning systems, and weatherization for low income and multi-family homes. In addition, the city decided to include solar power amongst its ARRA projects, having already installed solar at other buildings and seen the benefits. After evaluating different sites, the City of Santa Clara decided that Henry Schmidt Park offered a prime location for solar.

Vista Solar won the public works contracting process by having the lowest bid and meeting all of the City of Santa Clara’s requirements for bonding, insurance, and references. Vista Solar’s inclusion of high-efficiency SunPower solar panels created a bid providing the largest system with the lowest construction costs. SunPower high-efficiency solar panels maximize energy production in a limited rooftop space, thereby reducing the number of panels, mounting materials, and other system components that are needed. Consequently, this helped reduce construction costs. Made in the U.S., SunPower solar panels met a key ARRA funding requirement, and the entire solar package offered the city the best solution for their Henry Schmidt Park project.

In one week, Vista Solar finished the project on-time and on-budget. "Working with Vista Solar went really smoothly. We had great communication from Vista Solar, and we are really happy with our solar system," said Mary Medeiros McEnroe, Public Benefit Program Manager for the City of Santa Clara. Henry Schmidt Park’s lighting, internal electric baseboard heating, and other electrical appliances are now being powered by solar energy. This project went so well that the City of Santa Clara has already turned to Vista Solar again for a 125 kW solar system at the Jenny Strand Solar Research and Development Park. The Henry Schmidt Park solar system is a shining example to residents of how the City of Santa Clara is creating a greener future for its community.

About Vista Solar Inc.

Vista Solar is an award-winning solar design and installation firm serving the commercial and agricultural markets throughout California. Vista Solar offers $0-down financing solutions that allow organizations and businesses to save money on their utility bills without any capital outlay. Vista Solar is driven by the fundamental principle that the job isn’t complete until each customer is reference-able.

Additional information about Vista Solar can be found online at:

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Jaymes Callinan
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