The SB Bowl: music powered by sunshine

The Santa Barbara Bowl's solar installation completed by Sun Pacific Solar.
Sun Pacific Solar’s SunPower panel installation at the Santa Barbara Bowl, providing solar powered music for years to come.

In 2017, the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation invited solar contractors to present bids for an expansive, multi-roof solar installation, that would aid the Foundation in reaching its 100% renewable energy goal. Through a competitive bidding process, Sun Pacific Solar Electric was selected from 3 local solar installation companies to design and build this project.

After more than 2 years of design reviews and contract negotiations, we began the project in the winter of 2019.

Our initial Energy Analysis revealed that we could save the Foundation $11,000 per year by simply calling Southern California Edison and changing the Bowl’s utility rate.

Additionally, we found that a solar installation that had been installed several years prior with the intention of powering the venue’s entire concert season, came no where close to this target. We found that in order to meet the Foundation’s energy goal, a much larger, more efficient, and higher quality solar installation was required.

While Sun Pacific Solar always chooses to give previously built solar installations the upgrades and maintenance they deserve, this particular installation did not meet the facility’s needs. Because the venue has limited space, prioritizes quality and aesthetics, and aims for 100% renewable energy, the old solar system needed to be replaced.

For these reasons SunPower panels (the highest efficiency, highest quality solar panels on the market) were the clear choice for the project. Not only did we replace the existing system, but we also added another larger solar array on a second building.

Together these systems produce 38.88kW of solar power and cover 30% of the Santa Barbara Bowl’s electricity. These installations took two months to install and were completed in April 2020.

Powering music with sunshine at our favorite Santa Barbara venue is a special milestone for Sun Pacific Solar. We are proud and grateful to have been brought on for this project, and look forward to attending our first solar powered concert soon!

In the future, the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation intends to install another solar array to cover the remaining 70% of their usage and reach their 100% renewable energy goal. The solar projects at the Bowl were made possible through a grant from the Stepanek Foundation.

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