Solar Power Lighting Up Unusable Farmland

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Vista Solar installed a 792 kW solar system for Uesugi Farms to turn previously unusable farmland into a solar energy asset. Savings from the system are expected to surpass $2.6 million.

No longer a liability, the southwestern corner of Uesugi Farms is now prime solar power real estate.

Vista Solar did an excellent job helping us turn a business liability into an asset.

Vista Solar, Uesugi Farms, and local public officials officially dedicated the farm’s new 792 kW solar system on April 26th. Gilroy Mayor Don Gage, Santa Clara County District 1 Supervisor Mike Wasserman, Vista Solar Sales Manager Dan Arlan, and Uesugi Farms’ General Manager Pete Aiello celebrated the installation of the solar system with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Also in attendance were several members of Aiello’s family, including his father, Joe Aiello; mother, Katie Aiello; wife, Wendy Aiello; son, Michael Aiello; and daughter, Kayla Aiello.

Installed by Vista Solar as of February, the system is producing enough clean solar energy to offset 91.5% of Uesugi Farms’ electrical demand. Along with a zero-down operating lease, Uesugi Farms’ system is projected to create more than $2.6 million in savings over the next 25 years.

“Vista Solar did an excellent job helping us turn a business liability into an asset,” said General Manager Pete Aiello. “Not only did they provide professionalism and expertise in designing and installing the system, but they excelled in all the aspects surrounding it, including obtaining the financing and educating our staff about solar.”

With a low base flood elevation, this parcel of farmland has been prone to flooding, making it nearly impossible to grow crops. Uesugi Farms contracted with Vista Solar to create a design that could transform the unusable land into a solar generation facility. Elevated six feet off the ground to avoid flood damage, the system comprised of 300 Watt Canadian Solar panels and industry-leading 3-phase, transformerless Refusol string inverters is capable of producing more than 1.25 million kilowatt hours of solar energy annually. That’s enough energy to power more than 100 homes.

“Our design team excels at innovating in the face of site challenges, and this project is a credit to them as well as the rest of the team in helping yet another client convert the dream of solar into a reality,” said Vice President of Vista Solar, Jaymes Callinan.

In addition to creative engineering, Vista Solar enabled Uesugi Farms to go solar with zero-down and be cash-flow positive during the duration of the financing term.

“Forward-thinking businesses like Uesugi Farms are motivated by the significant savings that solar can provide for their bottom line, but at the end of the day, they often have several other mission-critical places where their capital is needed. Being able to provide a way to start saving with solar right away while preserving precious capital and lines of credit is one of the things that makes this project and Vista Solar so unique,” said Callinan.

According to conversion formulae provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Uesugi Farms’ system is expected to offset more than 813 tons of carbon dioxide each year. That’s equivalent to removing 154 passenger cars from the road for a year or to the amount of carbon sequestered by over 17,000 trees grown for ten years. With the commissioning of their new solar system, Uesugi Farms has deepened its commitment to environmental stewardship by converting a barren plot of land into a carbon-offsetting, renewable energy-generator while adhering to their fiduciary duties as a family business. Clearly this is a legacy decision that will benefit generations to come.

About Uesugi Farms
Uesugi Farms began as a 15-acre operation in Morgan Hill by George Uesugi who was farming Napa cabbage and strawberries. In 1979, Joseph Aiello and his partner, Dennis Humphreys, purchased the company. Chili peppers were added to the company’s list of commodities, and Uesugi Farms began to carve out the niche it holds to this day.

In 1980, Uesugi Farms added several more commodities including pumpkins, corn, beans, leeks, napa, bok choy, and, most notably, bell peppers. Based on their current pepper production, Uesugi Farms is known as one of the premier grower/packer/shippers in the industry.

Additional information about Uesugi Farms can be found online at:

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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