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Powering the future

Using economic & environmentally friendly electricity

Posted: October 17, 2008 9:39 p.m.
Updated: December 19, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Carlos Vega, field manager from Advance Solar Electric company in Thousand Oaks, checks the solar panel inverter, in which the energy is transferred to outside a building in the Saugus Industrial Center.

 
Carlos Vega unscrewed the thin metal door to access a maze of colored wires, grids and electrical equipment neatly organized in the box.

Pointing to the different parts, Vega, field manager for Thousand Oaks-based company Advanced Solar Electric, described how energy taken from the more than 300 solar panels on the warehouse roof travelled through a series of wires and into a mix of converter boxes installed on the side of the main building of the Saugus Industrial Center.

Those wires and grids serve as the key to the Saugus Industrial Center’s efforts to reduce electricity costs and help the environment.

The business, located off Railroad Avenue, is the newest company to take on the solar challenge.

The Saugus Industrial Center is roughly 40 years old and is home to a variety of tenants, including a welder, contractor and prop builder who works in the movie industry.

“It’s the savings,” said Larry Goodman, property manager of Saugus Industrial Center. “Everyone’s got it on their minds to get away from oil.”

Goodman hopes to save about half on his monthly electricity bill of $5,000.

Goodman believes wind and solar technology are the next steps for businesses looking to save the environment and reduce costs.

On Wednesday, Goodman and Vega gave three Southern California Edison representatives a tour of the fully installed system to make sure each piece was working.

While final tests remain, Goodman believes the system will be up and running by the end of the week.

Once the system is in place, Goodman will be able to monitor the electricity generated from the 73 -kilowatt system online.

“It doesn’t make any noise at all,” he said. “Everything is absolutely perfect so far.”

After the inspections were complete, Goodman watched Vega describe how the various boxes and wires worked.

He was pleased to hear how it works, even when clouds fill Santa Clarita’s normally sunny skies.

Although Vega explained what areas of the converters to avoid, Goodman assured him that he would never come too close to the box.

“I’ll never turn it off,” he said.

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