Hazel's turning on solar-powered system
The 99.8 kilowatt photovoltaic solar energy system is mounted on the roof and a solar awning is positioned on the south side of the building.
The system, which was engineered and installed by Boulder-based Namaste Solar Electric Inc., is expected to provide between one-quarter and one-half of the electricity needed to operate the 35,000-square-foot store. That's an estimated production of 137,870 kilowatt hours of electricity per year.
Bruce Dierking, general manager of the locally-owned store, said a consultant has been hired to explore LEED certification for Hazel's.
Hazel's is paying for the system, at a cost of more than $350,000, with private funds raised from its local investors.
"We believe this is a wise, long-term investment." Dierking said. He said Hazel's will receive tax credits and incentives. Dierking said the company reached an agreement with Xcel Energy Inc. to purchase renewable energy credits through Xcel's Solar Rewards program. "But more importantly," Dierking said, "we will be able to generate a significant portion of Hazel's energy needs from the sun and materially reduce our carbon footprint."
The building has an R-30 white roof, daylight harvesting using skylights, which also filter 100 percent the sun's ultra violet rays so that the natural light won't harm the wine in the store.
Hazel's also installed LED lighting in its coolers and throughout much of the store and upgraded to more expensive 460-volt compressors for its coolers to maximize energy efficiency. The store also maintains active recycling and composting programs to minimize waste generation.
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