Unique Three-Way Partnership Enables Rooftop Solar Installation


Superior Lithographics announces that a 400 kW rooftop solar array will be installed on the building it leases. The building owner, Mt. Vernon Investments LLC, is allowing Superior Lithographics to install and own the solar array, with the electric utility qualifying the project for its solar energy rebate program.

Virginia is not the only state to come up with innovative ideas to get solar on roofs. In a unique alliance, three entities are teaming up to install a 400 kW rooftop solar array in the City of Vernon, California. Superior Lithographics, the tenant, Mt. Vernon Investments LLC, the building owner, and the electrical utility owned by the City of Vernon, have agreed to a unique arrangement. Superior will own the solar system but is not the property owner. Normally companies are not able to install rooftop solar systems on a building they do not own. But in this case the shared desire to be environmentally responsible has put these three on the same side of the equation.

Superior has contracted with SPG Solar to design and install a $1.3 million solar system, which will provide upwards of 32% of the power used to operate Superior’s printing presses and paper converting equipment. The solar system will generate 627,000 kW hours of electricity annually, and according to the EPA it will reduce CO2 greenhouse gases emissions by 470 tons per year. Besides being environmentally responsible, this will deliver a cost savings of over $120,000 per year. As part of its drive to increase renewable energy on its electrical grid, The City of Vernon Power & Light Co. qualified the project for its solar energy rebate program, making the project feasible. The rooftop system is expected to come online by Q3 2014.

Doug Rawson, president of Superior Lithographics, said, “Our entire team is elated that we are able to install this system. It is socially responsible and fits with our customer experience to be environmentally responsible through the use of renewable resources. Our property owner, Steve Freed, has been incredibly supportive of this project and with the City of Vernon’s financial participation along with SPG’s design and installation expertise this project will significantly reduce our carbon footprint. The systems output provides almost 100% of our energy needs during peak daylight reducing the strain on the electrical grid when it is most needed, during peak demand.”

Steve Freed, president of Mt. Vernon Investments LLC, added, “This will be the first solar system installed on one of the properties in our industrial real estate portfolio. We are looking forward to working with Superior as well as the City of Vernon and SPG Solar to ensure the success of this project. We are anticipating more of our tenants will become interested in investing in solar power as a renewable energy alternative for their businesses and we look forward to supporting those projects.”

SPG Solar in Petaluma, California served as the solar systems engineer, designer, and contractor for the project. Dylan Duper, vice president, said “With tax incentives, rebates, and the cost of solar equipment coming down, the financial viability of solar has never looked better. Superior Lithographics is a sustainable leader; they will see immediate financial savings as they gain long-term control of their energy costs while they help to lower the demand for electricity generated using fossil fuel which will significantly reduce Superior’s carbon footprint.”