Vector is building a solar carport to cover the entire parking lot southeast of the restaurant, along Ventura Street. It will be 72’ x 112’, with a full 15’ clear height beneath the structure so that fire trucks, RVs, and over-the-road trucks can all pass under it easily.
Construction began in early October 2018, and by late October the foundations were complete, before the rainy season! We’re now waiting for a specialty order of structural steel that’s coming all the way from the mills in Pennsylvania: two 12" x 20" structural steel square tube girders 56’ long, and five 24" deep by 72’ long W-beams. Erection of the structural steel will take place in January 2019, followed by the purlins, solar modules, and inverters shortly afterwards.
Vittles’ carport was designed and permitted by Vector and our partner, Steel Truss & Supply. Vittles’ owner challenged us to come up with a design aesthetic inspired by the well-known solar carport at left, which is at the Sierra-Nevada brewery in Chico. Sierra-Nevada's solar system is nationally renowned, having been the largest privately-owned solar system in the nation for several years after its ~2008 installation. It is a recognized landmark which has drawn many visitors to Chico to view it.
Vittles’ carport will use 272 SolarWorld 350W photovoltaic modules, made in Hillsboro, OR, mounted in 16 rows of 17 modules each at a 5 degree pitch. These will feed five Fronius 12.5 and 15.0 kilowatt inverters, which will in turn connect to Vittles’ existing electrical switch gear and from there to PG&E’s electrical grid. Production will be about 149,000 kilowatt-hours per year, providing 100% of the restaurant’s electricity. The solar system will save Vittles over 80% on their electric bill over the next 25 years!
There’s another project going on at the same time: ChargePoint, the nation’s largest network of electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS), is installing four charging stations. Vittles does not own them nor receive any funds from their use, but they hope some of the EV owners will enjoy a meal.