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"With 9,576 solar panels, Pickett Solar’s installation at SunWest Fruit Company is one of the largest roof-mount arrays in the nation."

Sunwest Fruit - Commercial Solar Panels

We were so happy with the results and the savings that we are adding a 2-megawatt project that will add 6,360 more solar panels. This will bring our total offset of electricity to 72% and will be one of the largest privately owned systems in the Valley.

Martin Britz, President,
Sunwest Fruit Company,
Parlier, CA
Read SunWest case study.


Fig Garden Golf

I selected Pickett Solar because of their reputation. I was also impressed with the time and effort they put into the proposed design. Pickett Solar's team was professional and completed the project with minimal disruption to golfers.

Dave Knott, Owner
Fig Garden Golf Club,
Fresno, CA
Read Fig Garden Golf Case Study


Solar Energy at Michelsen

It was a very pleasant experience with everyone involved in the project from start to finish. I would most certainly recommend Pickett to anyone. I'm very happy with the results of my business solar installations.

Ed P.
Michelsen Packaging
Fresno, California

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Solar-Energy-Makes-Sense-for-SunWest-Fruit-Company

With 9,576 solar panels, Pickett Solar's installation at SunWest Fruit Company is one of the largest roof-mount arrays in the nation.

At the height of the summer season, fruit packinghouses run multiple shifts from dawn-to-midnight. They demand huge amounts of electricity and that can give executives sleepless nights. That was the situation for Martin Britz, President, and Dean Thonesen, Vice President, of SunWest Fruit Company in Parlier, California.

Electricity is Huge Expense

Owned by the Britz family of Fresno, SunWest is a grower, packer, and shipper of peaches, plums, nectarines, pluots, oranges, and mandarins. Like other large farming operations, electricity is an enormous expense. SunWest needed to minimize its costs as much as possible.

Offsets Attempted

During the past ten years, SunWest upgraded their lighting and used computer programs to lower incremental demands. They also reviewed their rate schedule to make adjustments in usage, but it wasn’t enough.

Packing House Resists Offsets

Britz said, “We could offset our electricity expense in most areas of our farming operation, but we could not offset our packinghouse usage from peak utility rates in the afternoons.” The main problem was the “pre-cooling and packing equipment that must run on the hot afternoons.”

Bridging the Gap

Solar panels ready for installationSunWest decided that solar energy could help them bridge the gap. Thonesen looked at the numbers and saw that from a financial standpoint, investing in solar energy made a lot of sense. He said, “Investing in an energy source that will not go up in price and that pays for itself in five years is a sound, bankable decision—vital to long term stability and growth.”

Choosing the Right Solar Company

SunWest accepted bids from eight solar energy companies. After reviewing the proposals, they narrowed the field down to three. Britz said, “Pickett Solar’s proposal was factual and to the point. The reps, Mike and Jeff, were exceptionally knowledgeable and informative at the initial presentation and all subsequent meetings. We felt quite comfortable working with them.” Thonesen added, “It also helped that their pricing was extremely competitive.”

The Purchase

Based on one of SunWest’s three meters, Pickett Solar estimated how much solar energy they would need to offset about a third of their electricity usage. SunWest purchased a 1-megawatt project with 3,240 solar panels.

Getting the Job Done

Pickett Solar handled all facets of the installation of the solar panels. Thonesen said, “The installation process went smoothly. Their team was professional and efficient. They did an outstanding job from start to finish.” And Pickett met the estimated timeline and stayed within the budget.

The Results of the Solar Panels Installation

Solar energy installation completed.
Solar energy installation completed.

Britz reported that SunWest is already seeing great results from their investment. “We are already seeing the benefits of solar each month on the electric bills. In fact, we were so happy with the results and the savings that we are adding a 2-megawatt project that will add 6,360 more solar panels. This will bring our total offset of electricity to 72% and will be one of the largest privately owned systems in the Valley.”

Commitment to Sustainability

SunWest strives to be a sustainable business that is a good steward of the environment and community. In fact, all of their farming operations are certified sustainable by Protected Harvest. Solar energy was a perfect fit for SunWest’s commitment.

Total Project Statistics

With 9,576 solar panels, Pickett Solar's installation at SunWest Fruit Company is one of the largest roof-mount arrays in the nation.

System Size: 2.9 Megawatts
Solar Panels: 9,576
Mounting: Rooftop
Offsets: 3,922,600 KW Hours will be saved annually, enough to power 490 homes for a year.

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