The Northtown Professional Plaza’s new rooftop array by Freedom Solar Power will offset 43 percent of the building’s energy needs, pay for itself in roughly seven years, and save the owners more than $1.25 million over the guaranteed lifetime of the system.
The project at Northtown Professional Plaza, a commercial office building in the heart of the Laredo at 6999 McPherson Road, is comprised of approximately 1,008 solar panels. The panels are 327-watt high-efficiency modules from SunPower, which makes the most efficient solar panels available today with an expected life of more than 40 years. Freedom Solar is a SunPower Master Dealer, the only company with that distinction in Texas.
Northtown Professional Plaza’s new solar project also includes a visual monitoring system in the lobby that shows the energy savings in real time. The 90,000 square foot three-story building features suites leased by tenants in the medical, legal, financial, and real estate fields.
Dr. Reynaldo Godines, MD- a gastroenterologist who owns the majority of the building and is one of 13 members of the Northtown Professional Building Association-pitched the idea of going solar to his fellow building association members.
“I researched solar for more than a decade, and I chose Freedom Solar because of their 25-year warranty on parts and labor, unmatched by any other solar company. Freedom Solar gave an excellent in-person presentation to our building owner’s association, and answered everyone’s questions,” Dr. Godines says.
The vote to go solar was nearly unanimous following the presentation, due in part to the large monthly savings the building owners would realize immediately because tenants lease the units at a flat rate that includes utilities.
“Solar is beneficial because it’s sustainable, and also very financially lucrative and doable because of the 30 percent federal tax credit,” says Dr. Godines. “This is a very fragile time in history, and we all need to do our part to build a more sustainable future because this is the only earth we have.”
The solar array will generate more than 471,355 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, which is the environmental equivalent of planting 9,091 trees or recycling 122 tons of waste.
Dr. Godines’ medical practice is located at McPherson Medical Center, next door to the Northtown Professional Plaza. A true solar and sustainability advocate, he drives an electric hybrid car and has advocated going solar to the McPherson Medical Center owner’s association.
Bret Biggart, CEO of Freedom Solar, says: “In a year where there has been a lot of negative policy news and uncertainty for the solar industry, Freedom Solar has no plans of slowing down. Texas was the fourth fastest growing solar state in 2017 and is expected to rise to second over the next five years. We have no doubt that solar will continue to dominate the Texas energy market as efficiency increases and prices decrease.”
Freedom Solar installs turnkey residential and commercial solar projects across Texas, in cities and towns located in both regulated and non-regulated markets. In 2017, Freedom Solar installed more than 4 megawatts of solar capacity in the state, including more than 435 residential projects and 22 commercial projects ranging from 20 kilowatts to 245 kilowatts.
Since it was founded, Freedom Solar has completed thousands of Texas residential and commercial projects for clients including Office Depot, Whole Foods, Lake Flato Architects, Ballroom Marfa, The University of Texas at Austin, Tejas Rodeo, and CubeSmart, among others.
By Staff Writers