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Sun Power in Sonoma County

Solar panel installation
Close up of one of the five arrays

Close up of one of the five arrays

Early in 2011, we installed solar panels at the Company’s Hedgpeth Ranch in Sonoma County. They went online in March, and supply approximately 90% of our year-round electrical needs for the 3 guest houses and the caretaker house.

This isn’t the first time we’ve used solar power: we’ve installed multiple solar-powered wells on other properties to provide fresh drinking water for cattle and wildlife with great success.

While the ranch project wasn’t our first foray into solar, it is a much larger scale than the solar wells. At the ranch, fifty 240 watt panels are mounted onto five tracking arrays that follow the sun as it moves across the sky each day, providing electricity for the houses and shade for our cattle. The passive tracking arrays use a liquid equilibrium system that absorbs heat from the sun and constantly repositions them without the use of motors, gears, or controls.

Not only is this a benefit to us power-wise, but the ranch house complex is now a truly sustainable vacation rental. The news of our solar project has already influenced groups to reserve with us.

Click on the images to enlarge.

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