By Tim Henderson
NHS was founded in 1973 and is located at the Seabright Cannery in Santa Cruz, California. Responsible for the design and manufacturing of Santa Cruz Skateboards, Santa Cruz Apparel, and Independent Trucks, NHS decided to create its own clean power — and chose Sandbar Solar as their turnkey solar energy installer.
The 250 kW solar system consists of 782 American-made solar modules spanning four Seabright Cannery buildings and will offset 86% of the electricity used by NHS offices and manufacturing as well as Verve Coffee Roasters. The 86% demand offset will translate into combined 99% reduction in utility bills for NHS and Verve. Interconnection was completed in June 2015.
“Everybody at Sandbar Solar was eager to participate in the NHS project. We were proud to be selected by such an iconic company to support their leadership and stewardship with an exciting project like this. We also respected their commitment to selecting and trusting a local company to meet their goals. Hopefully, others will follow their lead and enjoy both the environmental and financial benefits of solar power”, said Scott Laskey, president and founder of Sandbar Solar.
“NHS and Verve are now operating their facilities using clean renewable energy provided by the sun. “Our employees are super excited to roll out the new system and combat greenhouse gas emissions. The system will also financially benefit our operation, so it’s a win-win for NHS. Our progressive CEO (Bob Denike) and Owner (Richard Novak) were willing to invest in this technology and now we are using the sun to power our growing business. I expect to see many more systems pop up in the county as other companies do their homework.
My company is very pleased with our completed solar project. We reviewed proposals from five different solar vendors and selected Sandbar after months of review. Bryan was the job site coordinator; he was very professional and all the staff were on point. Even after the install, the service has been great. E.g. I called them panicked when we had a crazy thunderstorm and we had some sparks flying on one of our power lines. They walked me through the review process and all was good with the solar panels.
Overall Sandbar was very transparent during the proposal process and they delivered with the install. They recently released a solar offering to all of our employees and have stayed in touch. The system is maintenance free – we are very happy.
Not much I would have done different… maybe adjusted my expectations of the City of Santa Cruz and PG&E. The City delayed on some of the key steps and PG&E delayed in applying the solar credits to our PG&E Account which was a little frustrating. In the end, everything appears to have been reconciled, however it was frustrating to have worked on a project for so long, just to have PG&E drag their feet for 3 months before updating our account to reflect the energy we were producing.
Scott, Dan and the rest of the Sandbar Team are a great group. I’m going to use them again in the future.”
– Caylin Tardif, CFO NHS
Sandbar Solar has been in business for 14 years and is located on the Westside of Santa Cruz. Sandbar is responsible for many local solar installations including Plantronics, Westside Safeway, New Bohemia Brewery, and multiple schools in the Santa Cruz City School District. Sandbar also installs approximately 350 kW of residential solar a month throughout the Santa Cruz and San Francisco Bay areas. In 2012, Sandbar owner Scott Laskey donated a solar system to the Mark Abbot Memorial Lighthouse which hosts the Historical Surf Preservation Society Surfing Museum at Steamer Lane, in an effort to keep the Museum open to the public by cutting operating cost with solar power.
Tim has worked in the solar industry since 2008. He has a Master's Degree in Energy Resources Engineering from Stanford University. His years of experience include working on solar energy projects for both homes and commercial properties. Tim enjoys sharing his knowledge of this evolving industry and making a difference in his community.