6 San Diego County YMCAs

Commercial Case Study

YMCA of San Diego County Empowers Communities with Solar Project


The YMCA of San Diego County wanted to offset its electricity costs and increase its commitment to sustainability—while reinvesting the savings to better serve its community members.

SunPower’s Solution

Working with the team at Home Energy Systems, a SunPower Elite Dealer, the Y chose to install the SunPower® HelixTM solar solution across the roofs and parking lots of six campuses, for a total system size of nearly 2.5 MW.

Customer Benefit

The six solar installations are expected to provide savings of approximately $80,000 annually, which will be reinvested into programs and services for area youth and families.

“At the YMCA of San Diego County, we’re always looking to implement sustainability measures to help our facilities be energy efficient.”

Luis D’Carpio
Vice President of Facilities & Sustainability YMCA of San Diego County

Quick Facts

Helping Non-Profits Serve with Solar

The YMCA of San Diego County has a mission to improve the health and well- being of everyone it serves. As the second largest YMCA organization in the nation, the nonprofit provides a variety of programs and services focused on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, serving 400,000 people throughout the greater San Diego area.
In 2017, the organization’s leadership decided to make a strategic commitment to solar energy as part of its broader goal of strengthening the community. The Y installed solar rooftop and carport systems on six of its facilities throughout the county.

With nearly 4,000 high-performance SunPower® solar panels on its rooftops and parking lots, the solar project is expected to save the Y about $80,000 per year, and produce enough energy to offset 80-90 percent of the Y’s electricity use. Financed through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), the nonprofit did not have to invest any money upfront, but locked in low guaranteed electricity rates for the next 20 years. PPAs are ideal for nonprofits and other organizations who prefer that their resources directly serve their constituents and not be tied up in long-term capital projects.

In the first year of operation alone, the combined systems will generate more than 4 MWh of electricity—the equivalent of powering 378 homes with electricity for one year.1

For the 5,000 people employed at the YMCA of San Diego County, supporting solar is a point of pride. And for the families who park under the solar canopies, the extra shade is a welcome reprieve from the Southern California sun.

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HES Solar places safety as our highest priority, and that extends from our employees to our customers, to anyone else we may potentially be in contact with through the course of business. Along with the safety procedures we adhere to in the normal course of our work and projects, we have instituted several safety protocols for all of our employees during these times of vigilant public health precautions due to COVID-19. 

Our employees are given temperature checks each time they enter the office, and office visits are only allowed when necessary. 

We’ve instituted remote working for all of our employees who are able to perform their job duties at home. Meetings are done through virtual meeting rooms. 

Field employees maintain a six-foot distance between themselves and fellow employees, customers, vendors, and all others unless unavoidable. 

Masks are required whenever interacting with fellow employees, customers, or the public and whenever social distancing is not possible. 

To ensure these procedures can be met, employees have been provided with face masks or face coverings, eye protection, gloves (as necessary), and foot coverings (as necessary). 

To help ensure frequent sanitizing, employees have been provided sanitizers in the form of gel, liquid, and wipes, antibacterial soap, and paper products for cleaning such as tissues and paper towels. 

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Robert Laverty

Senior Energy Consultant, Residential

Robert Laverty joined the HES team in the summer of 2018, bringing his ten years of solar design experience and his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Puget Sound with him. Robert is dedicated to finding solutions to help families produce and store electricity in order to reduce their reliance on grid power as well as help reduce their household’s carbon footprint. Robert’s experience as a newspaper editor as well as his involvement with the sustainability-focused Rocky Mountain Institute drives him to constantly seek out innovative ways to meet energy needs through renewable resources as well as helps him share those ideas with Southern California homeowners. When not at work or volunteering time with his church or community, Robert spends time with his wife and two sons or pursues his passion of fly fishing.
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