The General Hydroponics Santa Rosa, California facility is producing solar power through a solar hybrid project installed by Cogenra Solar. The 75kW system, featuring 15kW of electricity and 60kW of thermal energy, was built to complement General Hydroponics existing 101kW PV system while adding the dual production of solar-powered hot water and electricity in one installation.
Thirty-six Cogenra PV thermal (PVT) receivers were attached using a standard solar racking system to the General Hydroponics rooftop. It is expected that the installation will offset around 3,500 therms of the facility’s natural gas usage and add to the solar energy the site is already producing. The system is certified by both the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation and the IEC for thermal and electric benefits and can potentially receive assistance from the California Solar Initiative.
Lawrence Brooke, founder and owner of General Hydroponics commented, “Eight years ago we installed the first commercial three-phase solar electric system on our roof, but until now we hadn’t addressed our significant gas demand for heating water used to make our nutrient blends. Now, with the solar cogeneration array delivering both hot water and electricity, we expect a payback of less than five years, providing a significant return on our investment and protection from future rises in energy costs.”
Sun Light & Power installed the solar hybrid system in a period that spanned less than three weeks from groundbreaking to completion.