FRESNO, CA, March 25, 2003 — Fresno Mayor Alan Autry and other officials joined with OK Produce of Fresno, CA recently in dedicating the largest rooftop solar electric system in the Central Valley.
This 231 kWp PowerGuard® solar system, mounted on the roof of OK Produce’s distribution facilities in Fresno, was designed and installed by PowerLight Corporation of Northern California.
“You couldn’t ask for a better area than the Central Valley for solar power,” noted Fresno Mayor Alan Autry. “We’ve got plenty of sun. It’s a vital key to our agricultural success. And there’s no reason why we shouldn’t also use it to create energy.”
“We’re very proud to be deploying the largest rooftop solar system in the Central Valley,” said OK Produce’s Brady Matoian. “This has been a dream come true for me. Our choice to solar power our building is our way of doing our part for the environment. Integrating solar power into our energy mix will help us lower costs, reduce pollution and conserve natural resources.
Many of our agricultural industry colleagues in California’s Central Valley are already expressing interest in deploying solar electricity as well. I hope many will follow our lead.”
OK Produce’s onsite solar system covers 35,000 square feet of rooftop at the company’s facilities near historic downtown Fresno. In addition, the solar powered installation spares the environment thousands of tons of harmful emissions, such as nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide, which are major contributors to smog, acid rain and global warming. It is estimated that the solar-generated electricity will reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 1,800 tons over the next 25 years. These emissions reductions are equivalent to planting approximately 500,000 acres of trees, removing 365 cars from the roadways, or not driving 4.5 million miles.
“OK Produce’s investment in onsite solar generation illustrates the company’s commitment to adopting a responsible approach to energy use,” said PowerLight President Dan Shugar. “Not only is solar an environmentally sound energy source, it’s practical and affordable. It’s an especially smart energy choice for utility customers in California, because it helps reduce price spikes. By leveraging solar power, OK Produce is helping ALL California’s utility customers. The energy savings accrued will reduce s trains on the grid, especially during peak electrical demand hours – at times when state transmission lines are the most constrained.”
PowerLight’s PowerGuard system was selected as the best solar electric technology application for OK Produce’s expansive flat roof space. PowerGuard is a patented, lightweight photovoltaic roofing assembly that delivers clean solar electricity to the building while protecting the roof from damaging effects of weather and UV radiation. Additionally, the solar panels provide added insulation benefits to the building. The PowerGuard system incorporates AstroPower Inc.’s APex solar modules, manufactured using AstroPower’s proprietary high-speed, continuous-sheet Silicon-Film process.
OK Produce is known for consistently delivering the highest quality produce available. The company was established in 1950 when Charles Matoian agreed to deliver farm fresh produce on a daily basis to retail stores throughout the San Joaquin Valley. With emphasis on quality and service, OK Produce has grown into a leading wholesale distributor serving supermarkets and restaurants.
About PowerLight PowerLight (www.powerlight.com) is the leading manufacturer of commercial-scale solar electric products and services. Founded in 1991, PowerLight’s systems solutions deliver reliable, affordable clean power for commercial and government customers worldwide. Inc Magazine has ranked the PowerLight Corporation among the top 500 fastest growing privately held companies in 2000, 2001 and 2002. Today, PowerLight has worldwide offices and a full line of commercial solar electric products.