Drinking Up California Sunshine: PepsiCo

Commercial Case Study

pepsico - Santee, CA


PepsiCo is a worldwide leader in the food and beverage industry and has been leading the move to sustainable practices and renewable energy. This PepsiCo distribution center needed to be a perfect expression of one of the corporation’s key climate impact mitigation strategies: “SHIFT: To renewable electricity and fuels in manufacturing and fleet.” (https://www.pepsico.com/sustainability-report/climate)

PepsiCo makes clear how commercial solar in San Diego fits their big picture goals on their website: “We aim to lead by example and manage our climate-related impacts in a responsible manner, while helping to drive systemic change… We’ve set an ambitious new target to achieve net-zero emissions by 2040… We more than doubled our interim climate goal, and are now striving to reduce absolute GHG emissions across our direct operations (Scopes 1 and 2) by 75% and our indirect value chain (Scope 3) by 40% by 2030 (against a 2015 baseline). We expect these new goals to lead to reductions of more than 26 million metric tons of GHG emissions, the equivalent of taking more than 5 million cars off the road for a full year.” (https://www.pepsico.com/our-impact/sustainability/focus-area/climate)


The SunPower system designed for PepsiCo in San Diego efficiently uses available roof space and takes advantage of the region’s abundance of sunshine with single tilt SPR-E20-330-COM modules tilted south to maximize production. The solar array is tied to a BYD energy storage system. Energy Toolbase’s Acumen EMS controls software, paired with the BYD CHESS unit, was installed to reduce peak demand at the facility. The primary controls application selected was Demand Charge Management, where Acumen EMS leverages its industry-leading machine learning algorithms to forecast load, shave peaks and maximize value capture.  

Customer Benefit

This PPA arrangement allowed PespiCo to power this new building with renewable energy and achieve energy cost savings without upfront investment. The building’s designer, Hamann Construction, Inc. is able to provide clean energy and receive the benefit of several incentives.

commercial solar in Santee, California in San Diego County

It was extremely gratifying to partner with Hamann Construction and Pepsi to create a commercial solar system atop the new Pepsi distribution facility here in East San Diego County. The goal was for a rooftop system that delivered the maximum yield. It was an honor to be a small but important part of Pepsi’s global energy goals and is always a great experience when we partner with Hamann Construction and get to be a part of one of their great projects.

Wenjie Chen, Director of Commercial, HES Solar

Quick Facts

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Net Energy Metering 3.0 (NEM 3.0) is the incoming law created by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The new tariffs and fees will impact both residential and commercial solar systems built in California. 

As this notice is posted in November of 2022, the Proposed Decision from the CPUC outlining the proposed NEM 3.0 terms is expected soon. This comes after a year’s delay. Once the new agreement is finalized and passed into law, there will exist a designation of the deadline under which new systems will continue to qualify for NEM 2.0 rates. 

The new NEM 3.0 rates will be designed to lower the value of electricity during the daytime hours, when solar is producing, and increase the value of electricity during the evening hours, when solar homes and businesses purchase electricity. In short, NEM 3.0 will create a “sell low, buy high” proposition to new solar system owners. 

To Californians looking to install a solar system on their home or commercial building, the NEM 2.0 rates will be preferred. As of this post, the solar industry does not know the details of how different the NEM 3.0 rates will be from the NEM 2.0 rates. 

Please use the HES Solar website as a resource to learn more, and please take our offer to speak with an HES Solar Energy Consultant at no obligation.

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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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