Commercial renewable energy project developer Namaste Solar is designing and building a 288-kW on-site solar photovoltaic system for industrial and environmental measurement firm Vaisala’s North American headquarters in Louisville, Colorado.
Namaste plans to complete the project by December. The grid-tied solar system at the Vaisala’s HQ complex will include two rooftop arrays and one on a vertical façade.
The solar installation, once operational, could offset 69% of Vaisala’s electricity consumption at the new headquarters building, generating close to 279,000 kWh in the first year and offsetting carbon emissions by the equivalent of more than 22,000 gallons of gasoline consumed.
“As a company that is embedded in communities across the globe, we believe in a future where societies thrive on renewable energy,” T.J. Mattimore, Director of Legal for Vaisala North America, said in a statement. “This installation continues Vaisala’s commitment to sustainability and underlines our dedication to achieving our lofty environmental, social and governance goals.”
Vaisala, which is based globally in Finland, produces measurement devices and services for weather, environmental, and industrial companies. In 2010, Colorado-based Namaste Solar installed solar panels on HQ buildings directly south of the new facility.
The on-site solar arrays do generate electricity directly to power the Vaisala site buildings, but it is not a microgrid system with controls enabling it to island or operate separately from the main grid, according to reports.
“This is a grid-tied and net-metered solar PV system,” Ruby Nahan, co-owner and Strategic Accounts Representative at Namaste Solar, told EnergyTech. “Electricity generated by the system first feeds electricity loads in the building. Any excess electricity not used by building loads feeds back to the local grid.”
Any excess electricity fed back into the main grid is eligible for credits, Nahan added.
Vaisala eight years ago signed onto the RE100 initiative, a Climate Group goal encouraging the world’s biggest companies to commit to 100% renewable energy. Vaisala said it already reached that goal, covering or offsetting all of its energy use with renewable power, by 2020.
The Vaisala North American HQ is located within the Colorado Technology Center in Boulder County. Namaste says the 2010 solar installations and other renewable electricity reduced Vaisala’s emissions by 97% between 2014 and 2020.
“Vaisala’s project services as a compelling example of an organization that truly recognizes the multifaceted benefits of solar,” Namaste’s Nahan said in a statement. “By embracing solar power, Vaisala not only reduces its carbon footprint but also demonstrates its role as a beacon of sustainability within the community.”
Namaste Solar has installed arrays for several customers within the Colorado Technology Center, including Eldorado Artesian Springs, Community Food Share and BH 305 Arthur.