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JKB Energy nears completion of UC ag center's first solar installation
JKB solar project
JKB Energy constructed a Terra Ground Mount system at the UC Ag and Natural Resources Research Center in Parlier, which will be the first solar structure used in any of the nine research and extension centers throughout the state. - photo by Photo Contributed

A Turlock-based solar company is one step closer to helping a world-class research operation over 100 miles away eliminate thousands of pounds of emissions and save tens of thousands of dollars annually with a new, cost-effective solar installation.

Over the past three years, JKB Energy and the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier have worked towards maximizing the center’s bill offset program through the design and construction of a Terra Ground Mount system, which will be the first solar structure used in any of the nine research and extension centers throughout the state.

 “JKB Energy has been particularly accommodating and flexible from the start of this phased project,” said Robert Ray, Superintendent of the UC ANR KARE Physical Plant. “As part of the state education system, our budget for capital expenditures is quite tight, so we needed to be sure to select a flexible partner such as JKB Energy to help us accommodate the long-term vision.”

The Terra Ground Mount system proved to be the perfect fit for the research operation as it allows them to creatively accommodate various space constraints and to build strategically in phases. This month, JKB Energy completed the third phase out of the four-phase project that is slated for completion in 2016. Thus far, the solar company has installed 80 KW towards an eventual total of 100 KW.

Upon completion, the center’s postharvest meter annual cost will be offset by approximately 96 percent. Postharvest research is science that is conducted after a crop has been harvested and includes various factors, such as the effects of cooling, cleaning, sorting and packaging and how these effects might affect the quality of stored fruits and vegetables.

Over the course of 25 years, the project is anticipated to eliminate the equivalent of 473,735 pounds of carbon dioxide, which is the leading greenhouse gas, 1,520 pounds of nitrogen dioxide, which creates smog, 1,376 pounds of sulfur dioxide, which causes acid rain, and 770,814 miles driven in an average car.

 “JKB Energy is committed to California agriculture, with the majority of installations begin ag focused,” said Jayson Moser, vice president of design and procurement of JKB Energy. “The UC ANR KARE opportunity was a chance for us to execute on our vision of supporting ag education from the ground up.

“JKB Energy has more than 200 ag related installations throughout the Central Valley, many of which are in the greater Turlock area,” added Chad Cummings, Sales and Marketing Manager of JKB Energy.