The Sunnyvale Historical Society, charged with the responsibility of preserving local history, has taken its cause a step further to preserve our future as well. They recently received their first solar cash out of $331.64 from Silicon Valley Clean Energy’s Net Energy Metering (NEM) Program. This is money earned for surplus electricity produced by their museum’s rooftop solar over the course of the year.
The Historical Society opened the Heritage Park Museum in 2008, and the utility bill for this building was the organization’s greatest monthly expense. A $900 electric bill is what first inspired their journey to get solar. The organization, run entirely by volunteers, created a campaign to cover the initial cost of the panels and installed them in 2015. They partnered with SunWork, another volunteer-based organization, who was able to also assist the Historical Society with a lower cost installation. The museum is completely electric, with no natural gas connection. It uses heat pumps for heating and cooling, allowing it to fully utilize the electricity they generate on site with rooftop solar. The Historical Society now saves roughly $10,000 per year and no longer pays a utility bill.
While their solar panels may have overproduced in prior years, they did not receive cash back for surplus generation before becoming SVCE customers. The savings from their NEM cash out alone is enough to cover their cleaning bill for two months. The Historical Society continues to do research about Sunnyvale history and run the Heritage Park Museum, with their savings from solar going into their general fund.
We encourage customers to learn more about our region’s history and visit the museum.