With a mandate to decarbonize their materials and promote a more responsible and sustainable approach to building infrastructure, Graniterock was looking for ways to leverage their underutilized acreage as a potential site for a large scale solar installation. Meanwhile, a group of local environmental advocates from the Aromas Progressive Action League (APAL) and Greenpower, looking to promote a new San Benito community initiative to reach 100% renewable power, had approached Graniterock, the largest energy consumer in the region, about offsetting its power with solar.
Mynt, who was already working with APAL and Greenpower, was asked to join the conversation and advise Graniterock on the opportunity. Over the next few months, Mynt worked with the Graniterock team to develop a cost effective strategy to install a large scale solar installation on top of their Overburden pile where millions of pounds of unusable rock fines created by the granite processing are carried up a massive conveyor belt and deposited, creating a large flat surface perfect for a ground mounted solar array. This site had little future potential use for agriculture or residential development, but tremendous value once transformed into a field of clean energy generation.
Since Graniterock does a majority of it’s processing in the evening when utility rates are low, the solar installation will be even more economical as it generates valuable bill credits during the mid-afternoon peak rate time periods. This idea of “Buying low and selling high” enabled Graniterock to monetize the installation more efficiently which in addition to the value created for the community and the planet, made the decision pretty simple.
The 5.7 Megawatt project once completed in fall 2021 will be the largest Net Energy Metered project in 3CE territory and the second largest in PG&E territory. This is the equivalent of powering over 1,000 homes and will offset 60% of Graniterock’s energy demand while making a significant dent in the community’s goal of reaching 100% renewable energy.
By Steve Hanley Published March 12, 2021 | Cleantechnia
Graniterock Mine In California Commits $15 Million For 5 Megawatt Solar Farm
Graniterock quarry in tiny Aromas, California is building a 5 MW solar farm to help power its mining operations.
Serendipity is when things just seamlessly come together in a way that benefits all concerned. It happened in the small town of Aromas, California, population 2650, one summer night in 2017. Aromas is home to the A.R. Wilson Quarry. The granite quarry is part of Graniterock, a family-owned mining and building materials supply company that has been in business since 1900 and is the largest consumer of electricity in the area.
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