Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) said Hilltop Ranch, Inc. will receive a $588,000 incentive rebate through the California Solar Initiative (CSI) program for a 574-kilowatt solar project at its headquarters in Merced County.
The goal of the CSI program is to substantially lower the cost and increase the use of customer-owned solar energy throughout the state, the company said in a news release. PG&E said it is committed to incentives that will help bring the benefit of carbon-free power to residential and business customers.
Hilltop Ranch is one of the largest privately owned processors of almonds, handling more than 25,000 tons annually and shipping to buyers in more than 65 countries.
According to Dave Long, co-founder and president of Hilltop Ranch, Inc., the 574-kilowatt solar installation will offset 70 percent of Hilltop Ranch’s energy use for the year at their Turlock Road processing facility in Ballico. It will also help eliminate almost two million pounds of carbon emissions annually.
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“As a Merced County resident for almost three decades and a local business owner, I am committed to reducing my carbon footprint and ensuring our customers receive the highest quality California almonds possible,” said Long. “Thanks to the support and incentives provided by PG&E and CSI, the installation of solar power makes good financial sense for our business.”
Since January 2007, the CSI program has provided financial incentives for solar installations for existing residential homes as well as existing and new commercial, industrial and agricultural properties. The CSI program set a goal to create 3,000 megawatts of new solar-produced electricity statewide by 2017. Through the CSI program, PG&E has the potential to provide an additional $670 million in solar incentives.
Since 2001, PG&E said it has interconnected more than 30,000 customer-owned, solar-generating systems to the power grid and has provided more than $500 million in solar incentives through the CSI program and PG&E’s other self generation incentive programs.
The programs together represent more than 300 megawatts of electricity, more than any other utility in the nation, PG&E said. For the second year in a row, the Solar Electric Power Association ranked PG&E first in the nation for participation by its customers in solar generation. For more information on the CSI program, visit www.pge.com/csi/.