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BEGA throws the switch and will now use the sun as a power source and battery backup

CARPINTERIA, Calif. - The BEGA North America lighting company looked up to find its best energy solution to keep production going even if the power grid is down.

The company teamed up with HES Solar from San Diego and now the roof top of the BEGA buildings have solar panel that capture the sunlight and put it to work or store it in batteries.

A special ceremony took place with company officials and the South Coast Chamber of Commerce.

Nomura said to the company meeting, "you set the ultimate example of what we need to do in this community and in the rest of the world."

Williams said he was impressed. "900 killowatts is more than any other commercial entity that I know of and it puts it in the lead with the city, county and UCSB as the only entities that have larger systems than that in one place."

BEGA says the installation will provide about 95 percent of the power it needs.

The return on investment will be covered, right now, in about five years of energy savings.  BEGA says there are many variables in favor of the company with rebates and other cost factors to possibly shorten that to about three years.

HES Solar from San Diego, says it had a presentation based on reliability, a solid battery backup system, and a lifespan in excess of 40 years.

"So when they lose power everything is turned off and it is abrupt and it is unplanned and production is lost and it is very inefficient and everyone has to go home.  With this system that all goes away," said Ross Williams with HES Solar.

For BEGA, the company said it wanted to practice environmental responsibility by going with a full solar panel system, and several factors came together to make the connection.

"The cost of the system has come down and frankly the  unreliability of the electrical grid in the area has caused some of that to happen. On top of that  government subsidies and rebates have helped to  offset the cost as well," said BEGA President Don Kinderdick.

He said he would recommend other companies, take a look at the costs and financial plans with a growing interest in capturing solar rays for a power source option.

At BEGA's site in Carpinteria, just under 200 workers are employed. An expansion plan going forward includes a site in Colorado, in addition to the location in Carpinteria.

(More details, photos and video will be added here later today)

Article Topic Follows: Money and Business
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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3-12. To learn more about John, click here.


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