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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 21:23 EDT

Clean Power Systems, Envision Solar, Inc. And Kyocera Solar, Inc. “Plant” a Solar Grove(TM) at St. Mary Medical Center to Cultivate Clean Energy and Shade

October 29, 2008

Clean Power Systems, Envision Solar, Inc. and Kyocera Solar, Inc. announced today that the companies have supplied St. Mary Medical Center with a Solar Grove(TM), an array of three “Solar Rows(TM)” that converts a 104-vehicle parking lot into a 230-kilowatt (kW) solar electric generating system. St. Mary Medical Center, known for its health and wellness programs, initiated the project to focus on a new type of healing experience, one that benefits the environment and its employees.

The Solar Grove(TM) is comprised of custom steel frame shade structures that support a canopy of 1,150 Kyocera KC 200GT photovoltaic modules. These “Solar Rows(TM)” convert sunlight into clean energy. By transforming its parking area into a Solar Grove(TM), St. Mary Medical Center has taken an active role in reducing the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that it will emit into the atmosphere by offsetting the electrical load of the hospital. The Solar Grove(TM) has a peak rated output of about 333,400 kWh per year.

While most solar panels sit on a rooftop, the Solar Grove(TM) at St. Mary Medical Center utilizes a large open space on the property, its parking lot, to capture the region’s ample sunlight so that the same panels that capture the sun will also offer shaded parking, a valuable commodity in the High Desert that will make employees a bit more comfortable when they re-enter their vehicles after working a shift at the hospital.

Envision Solar created the trademarked design that features Kyocera’s solar panels. Kyocera, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of photovoltaic modules, inaugurated the first Solar Grove(TM) at its North American headquarters in San Diego, California. Kyocera Solar, Inc. President Steve Hill sees a growing trend in high-visibility solar power systems. “We have seen an increase in worldwide demand for solar power,” stated Hill. “As a result, we are expanding our Tijuana facility – a move that will contribute to the increase in Kyocera’s global manufacturing output from 207 megawatts (MW) in 2007 to 650 MW by March 2012.”

The Solar Grove(TM) structures, which add a sculptural landscape to parking lots, were designed by Envision Solar, the La Jolla, California-based firm that specializes in site integrated photovoltaic systems. Envision Solar CEO and founder Robert Noble commented, “As sustainable architects we find solar panels to be iconic, a beautiful building material that we use to integrate clean energy into the design of the site.”

The new parking shade structures, which comprise the community’s most visible solar power installation, will administer a healing dose of environmental benefits to the planet in a way that promotes the hospital’s fiscal health, without any capital outlay.

The St. Mary Medical Center Solar Grove(TM) was installed by Clean Power Systems, a San Diego solar integrator that brought to the medical center a creative financing solution through Solar Power Partners. Solar Power Partners provided financing for the project at no cost to the hospital through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). The hospital signed the PPA, a financing instrument that allows St. Mary Medical Center to host rather than own the solar power system. The facility agrees to purchase the power produced by the Solar Grove(TM) at roughly the same price at which it buys power from the local utility company during peak hours of the day when the sun is shining. Kirk Mulligan, CEO of Clean Power Systems, added, “St. Mary Medical Center was looking for a way to install shade structures for its employees, and the arrangement provided by the Power Purchase Agreement includes this as part of the solar power system, with no out of pocket costs.”

Bob Diehl, VP of Strategic Planning at St. Mary Medical Center who initiated the solar project, notes that, “This was an exciting project! Not only did the Solar Grove(TM) generate a lot of ‘buzz’ among our staff, but we also heard from other organizations that would like to explore similar solar power systems at their own facilities.” Diehl adds, “We hope that the Solar Grove(TM) at St. Mary Medical Center will embolden other healthcare facilities to try new ways to contribute actively to the health of the community.”

About St. Mary Medical Center: As a community-based and focused not-for-profit medical center, Saint Mary Medical Center takes very seriously the opportunity to benefit the Victor Valley, with a strong connection to the core values of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange and the Brothers of St. John of God. Its core values of Hospitality, Dignity, Justice, Service and Excellence define this High Desert hospital as an extraordinary place. For more information please visit us at www.stmaryapplevalley.com.

About Kyocera, Inc.: Kyocera Solar, Inc. (www.kyocerasolar.com) is a world-leading supplier of environmentally sound, solar electric energy solutions. With operating headquarters in Scottsdale, Ariz. and regional sales centers in the U.S., Brazil and Australia, Kyocera Solar, Inc. serves thousands of customers in both developed and developing regions. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kyocera International, Inc. of San Diego, the North American headquarters and holding company for Kyoto, Japan-based Kyocera Corporation (NYSE:KYO).

About Envision Solar International, Inc.: Envision Solar International, Inc., based in La Jolla, CA, is a privately held, solar integrated building system developer. Envision Solar was founded by a group of visionary architects, builders and engineers with a mission to provide aesthetically pleasing photovoltaic systems to increase the worldwide use of renewable energy. For more information, please visit www.envisionsolar.com.

About Clean Power Partners, Inc.: Clean Power Systems is a leader in the solar marketplace, providing and installing residential and commercial solar panels in Southern California. Utilizing the most efficient solar energy panels, Clean Power Systems enables its customers to realize immediate and long-term saving while generating their own clean, renewable power. For more information, please visit www.CleanPowerSystems.com.