Bergelectric is installing solar arrays at six locations throughout the City of Woodland, CA (Yolo County). The arrays will provide a total of 2.5-megawatts to six city facilities including the Water Pollution Control Facility, the Community and Senior Center, the police station, the Municipal Service Center, the Woodland Public Library, and City Hall. The six separate systems will include carports, rooftops, a solar shade canopy, and ground-mount solar.
The project is part of the city’s objective to reduce city energy use and city operations’ greenhouse gas emission. It is estimated to help reduce greenhouse gas emission by 600-900 metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year, or about 30 to 40 percent of the goal for reductions from city government operations. An added benefit for the city will be cost savings—according to a city report, the city’s savings over the 28-year term of the power purchase agreement are estimated at $7.6 million, which equals an average annual savings of $140,000 per year.
Bergelectric is installing the array systems with Performance Contracting, Inc. (designer/general contractor) at all six city locations simultaneously. “Scheduling progress on six different sites that involve utility approvals and strict end-user deadlines can be challenging,” said Bergelectric Division Manager Caleb Stump. “We evolved from having one site designated as the “base camp,” to locating resources on each of the sites which limited wasted motion,” said Stump. “Getting resources closer to the work has allowed crews the flexibility to arrive at any site and be instantly efficient.”
Adding to the installation challenges, Bergelectric has had to endure scheduling delays due to this year’s El Nińo. For example, the ground arrays at the Water Pollution Control Facility were on compacted dirt—which turned to mud when the rain hit—taking a few days to dry out before a truck or a lift could be used on site. Despite these obstacles, Bergelectric has been able to keep the project momentum going, meeting all of the city’s goals and deadlines to this point.
The redundant nature of the array installations has been a great match for Bergelectric’s prefabrication division. Many array assemblies are constructed off-site at Bergelectric’s Sacramento Regional Prefabrication Warehouse and then shipped to the jobsite for installation. Bergelectric also made use of underground boring technology. This turned out to be a less-expensive/speedier alternative to traditional open trenching in existing parking and sidewalk areas.