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California’s Largest Multi-Residential Solar Water Heating Project of State’s New Program

May 11, 2011 – San Jose, California Thanks to a new solar water heating incentive program from the state of California, The Tradewinds, a community of condominium homes nestled in the heart of San Jose’s Blossom Valley, will become the largest solar water heating project in the state. Construction on the project is expected to start this month.

The community of 320 residential units, approximately 80% of which are owner occupied, uses an average of 10,000 gallons of hot water per day for showers, laundry, dishwashers, and other residential hot water necessities. Heating water with solar energy rather than with natural gas will reduce the building’s water heating bills by as much as 60%.

TradewindsFree Hot Water, the solar system’s San Jose-based manufacturer, engineer, and designer, will use a total of 183 commercial grade FHW7000 series solar hot water collectors that will be mounted on five tar and gravel roofs of the two story buildings in the Tradewinds complex.
Paul Burrowes, COO of Free Hot Water, added that the solar hot water system will help California to reach its recent goal of 33% renewable energy by 2020. “We calculate that The Tradewinds will produce over 5 million BTU’s daily and save over 250,000 pounds of CO2 on an annual basis,” Burrowes says.

In addition to the long-term cost and environmental savings, The Tradewinds home will benefit from the new California Solar Initiative (CSI) Thermal Program. The initial calculations for The Tradewinds show a CSI-T rebate value of approximately $186,240. As a non-profit home owners association (HOA), the project does not benefit from tax incentives that would have reduced the overall costs further for a building owner.

Free Hot Water selected TBI Energy as the project manager and Comfort Energy as the system installer and contractor of record. Breene Kerr, TBI Energy Project Director stated, “TBI Energy is excited to be a part of the largest solar thermal system yet installed under the CSI thermal program. This is a complex installation with three independent solar thermal systems serving hundreds of residents in five different buildings. TBI Energy’s extensive construction management experience along with Free Hot Water’s proven products and technology gives us the confidence that this project will be successful. California needs more installations like this one. We look forward to providing a highly visible example of why solar thermal systems should become as common in this country as the are throughout the rest of the world.”

Comfort Energy’s president, Harry Abbot adds, “It’s successful incentive programs California’s CSI program that make these large projects possible and help create more clean energy jobs for California’s present and future.”

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About Tradewinds Condominium Homes & Sports Club

Unlike any other complex of its kind, the crown jewel of The Tradewinds is its private sports club facility, which boasts such amenities as an indoor swimming pool, spa, sauna, racquetball court, full-size basketball court, weight/cardio workout room, billiards, table tennis, a barbecue patio, a multi-purpose room and outdoor tennis courts. The complex also has its own satellite/cable television network, allowing all home owners to have access to their preferred cable or satellite provider, without having to install costly hardware or dishes.

Craig Gorewitz
(408) 363-9954

About Comfort Energy

Comfort Energy is a full service team of licensed, highly trained and experienced professional designers, installers and service technicians able to address every need of your indoor environment and air quality comfort. Our company reputation has been built on excellence and our quality of work speaks for itself. With our engineering staff and resources, we are able to offer a wide variety of cutting edge design & build applications to meet your needs – whatever it may be.

Harry Abbot
(408) 263-3100

About TBI Energy

TBI Energy provides customers with investment grade energy audits, energy efficiency retro-fit project design and management, rebate management, ROI analysis and continuous commissioning. Our construction management division ensures that the best construction management practices are applied to sustainable project scheduling, cost accounting and regulatory compliance. We are committed to delivering energy efficiency projects that pay for themselves in addition to their many tangible and intangible environmental benefits. TBI Energys’s long time experience with sustainable projects for both public and private sector clients ensures that our customers take advantage of every worthwhile incentive, grant, rebates and tax credit available as they work to make their operations more efficient while reducing their impact on the environment.

Breene Kerr, Energy Project Director
(408) 246-3691

About Free Hot Water

Free Hot Water, based in San Jose, California, offers affordable, high quality hot water systems for commercial and residential applications. Our products and systems are clearly distinguished by their integrated design, quality, affordability, and ease of installation. We feature our own SRCC 0G-100 certified collectors and exclusive mounting and racking systems, providing high quality, reasonably priced, solar thermal solutions for your business or home. We’re also a distributor of a wide selection of superior quality SRCC OG-300 systems. Our San Jose in-house engineering department specializes in designing solar thermal systems for a variety of large scale commercial applications. We evaluate each project, and design custom systems that are optimized for the unique needs of your business. Free Hot Water’s extra-mile customer service also includes submitting all documents necessary for permits and help to get you all applicable financial solar incentives.

Paul Burrowes
(408) 432-9900

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