Stone Brewing Company goes solar

EL CAJON, CALIFORNIA - Borrego Solar Systems, Inc., a leading designer and installer of grid-connected solar electric power systems, and Bank of America announced that Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido, Calif. has installed a 312 kW solar electric system at its brewing facility in the Escondido Research & Technology Center (ERTC).

To unveil the $2.5 million system, Stone will host a launch event, "A Celebration of Sol," on July 8 at its Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens.

Executives from Stone, Borrego Solar, Bank of America and Hamann Construction will provide an overview of the project and outline for guests how innovative design and creative financing can enable any home or business to enjoy the lasting benefits of solar energy.

"Environmental conservation is a core philosophy of the Stone Brewing Co. We're always looking for opportunities to conserve energy, to incorporate sustainable design and reduce our impact on the environment. We've been interested in adding a solar electric power system since we started planning our new building in Escondido, so we were very enthused when Borrego Solar came highly recommended to us by our contractor, Hamann Construction," said Steve Wagner, President of Stone Brewing Co.

"We have been very excited to work with Borrego Solar as they have exceeded our expectations; they've been very helpful, professional and made the entire project - from the initial paperwork to the actual construction - run very smoothly. We are also very thankful to Bank of America for their customized financing on this project - we knew we could count on them to craft a financing plan that maximized our benefits from the available tax incentives and utility rebates."

Stone's 312 kW system consists of 1,561 roof-mounted solar modules, placing it in the top 12 percent of solar energy systems in California in terms of size. The system will supply up to 43 percent of the brewery's energy needs. Over its lifetime, the system will save Stone more than $3 million in electricity costs and it is expected to pay for itself in just five years. The clean energy produced by the solar array will offset more than 538,000 pounds of carbon emissions over its lifetime, which is equivalent to planting 204 acres of trees.

"As Borrego continues to help solve the world's energy problems, the ongoing commitment from forward-thinking companies like Stone Brewing Co. is vital to secure the accelerated adoption of solar energy," said Aaron Hall, CEO of Borrego Solar Systems, Inc. "We are honored to have been selected by Stone to design and install the company's solar electric system. The array we designed for Stone uses the most efficient technologies available, ensuring the consistent production of renewable energy - and reinforcing Stone's commitment to environmental sustainability - for years to come."

Banc of America Leasing structured a 10-year lease purchase that maximized the available federal solar investment tax credits, utility incentive payments and the reduction in electricity bills to provide the $2.5 million in financing for the project as part of its $20 billion environmental initiative.

"Bank of America provides strategic and cost-effective financing solutions for renewable energy projects for our private and public sector clients," said Kate Collier, Bank of America commercial bank executive for San Diego and Orange County. "This exciting effort with Stone Brewing and Borrego Solar demonstrates that small and large businesses alike can afford to go solar, save money and reduce their carbon footprint."


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