West Marine store sees benefits of solar power

WATSONVILLE, Calif. – The Solar Power System at West Marine’s Santa Cruz, Calif. store recently celebrated a very successful first year in operation, the company said in a recent press release.

The specialty boating supply retailer’s solar system – built by Solar Technologies – cut the store’s conventional energy expenses by more than half, and exceeded its manufacturer’s power production expectations, West Marine said.

Solar Technologies predicted that the system – the largest of its kind in Santa Cruz County – would deliver 82,000 kilowatt-hours in the first year. Instead, the system produced nearly 86,000 kilowatt-hours or 5-percent more than initial projections. The system produced 55 percent of all power used by the Santa Cruz store.

“To see such excellent results from our Solar System in the first year is deeply gratifying,” said Randy Repass, West Marine founder and chairman. “It has always been our objective to be on the cutting edge of environmentally sound business practices. And with the success of our Santa Cruz store, we’ve proved that solar is a feasible means for businesses to save money, reliably generate the power they need and for improving environmental conditions in the communities where they operate.”

To further educate West Marine customers about the success of the project, Solar Technologies and West Marine are planning the installation of an informational kiosk that will display the systems performance. The movable kiosk will enable West Marine to showcase the systems success, and hopefully, inspire similar projects in the community, according to the company.

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