BoDean Company Plant at Mark West model of 'sustainability'
[caption id="attachment_33808" align="alignright" width="288" caption="Some 3,444 solar panels were installed at the Mark West Quarry capable capable of producing 1,165 megawatts of clean energy annually."][/caption]
SANTA ROSA -- The BoDean Company aggregate and asphalt supplier is going 100 percent solar-powered, the first to do so in the world, according to the industry magazine Rock Products.
BoDean will mark the occasion with an official cutover ceremony on May 11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the company’s Mark West Quarry located at 4611 Porter Creek Road.
A total of 3,444 solar panels were installed on a restored slope at the quarry. The system as a whole is capable of generating 1.165 megawatts of green energy annually.
[caption id="attachment_33809" align="alignleft" width="360" caption="General Manager Bill Williams (left), owners Dean and Belinda Soiland and project manager Charlie Young in front of solar panels at the Mark West Quarry."][/caption]
Electricity produced by solar panels at the Mark West Quarry will offset the release of 1,844,521 pounds of CO2 per year, or the equivalent of driving 2,494,595 miles in an average car, quarry officials said.
To offset this level of yearly emissions would require the planting of 5,592 trees a year. Such emissions would be equal to the annual energy usage of 160 typical residential homes in the U.S.
The company has an ongoing commitment to sustainability. In 2006, when BoDean moved to its new headquarters at 1060 N. Dutton Ave. in Santa Rosa, management decided to place solar panels on the office roof. In addition, several managers have solar arrays on their homes.
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While other quarry operators may have solar providing a portion of their energy needs, BoDean elected to take advantage of currently available incentives to go 100 percent solar at one of the firm’s locations.
Company’s founders Belinda and Dean Soiland would like to see all of their company’s operations solar powered.
“It was a perfect storm with several factors converging to make this possible,” said Dean Soiland, president of the BoDean Company. “We have been dedicated to a sustainability program and eco-efficiency for many years, but it made economic sense to go beyond conceptual realities and embrace the many near-term benefits and advantages available to us to have a zero carbon footprint at this site.”
The total construction cost of the project was $3 million. However, with a $1 million federal grant, combined with PG&E rebates of $100,000 per year over the next five years, 30 percent tax depreciation allowances and investment tax credits – coupled with cost-effective equipment prices – meant the time was right to implement solar.
The remaining $2 million needed to pay for construction was financed through the Bank of America.
[caption id="attachment_33811" align="alignright" width="360" caption="BoDean Company rock crusher at Mark West Quarry"][/caption]