Unitarian Universalists’ Roof-top Solar Installation

On Sunday July 17th, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in San Luis Obispo celebrated a long-anticipated solar installation.

In Balance Green Consulting sized the system, gathering the previous few years’ worth of available electricity bills, and used that data to evaluate different options.  In the end, the church selected a system designed to offset 99% of the annual electricity cost and around 90% of the actual energy use.

The initial Basis of Design (BOD) that we provided estimated the system cost and financial ratios such as Net-Present-Value, Return on Investment (ROI) and the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) to be expected. The BOD also included a rough roof layout that took into account fire access code and orientation.

With this BOD, members of the congregation asked for quotes from local solar installation companies. Through connections with CalPoly faculty, the church was able to have commercial-sized panels donated as part of a learn-by-doing program.

With the size decided upon and modules in possession, Pacific Energy Company was contracted to provide the inverter and install the 8.5 kWdc array consisting of twenty E19 SunPower 425 modules tied into one Solectria PVI 7600TL Inverter.  The UU is now monitoring the system's performance daily using Solectria’s online dashboard that allows the owner to view production updated every 15 minutes.