Graniterock Embraces Renewable Energy Project

A $15 million solar project at Graniterock‘s A.R. Wilson Quarry will supply more than half the site’s intensive energy needs when the installation is complete in 2022.

The 5-megawatt project, which will include 15,000 photovoltaic solar panels, is an inspiring example of sustainability goals aligning for industry, community groups, and nonprofit organizations.

 Graniterock, which has already invested in transforming its Watsonville headquarters into a near net-zero building and built a smaller 1-megawatt solar energy project at its quarry was approached in 2017 by a group of Aromas residents working to create a net-zero, carbon-neutral town. Members of the Aromas Progressive Action League (APAL) challenged the company, as the town’s biggest electricity user, to use more sustainable energy. 

That initial discussion stemmed from a meeting between Aromas Progressive Action League member Seth Capron and Ben Eichert and Daniel Nelson, who had just completed the Romero Institute’sGreenpower initiative to transition Monterey Bay communities away from fossil fuels in favor of locally produced green energy through publicly-run Monterey Bay Community Power(now Central Coast Community Energy). 

When approached several weeks later, Graniterock wholeheartedly embraced the challenge, then turned to Santa Cruz-based Mynt Systems, a solar and energy efficiency firm that had previously handled the zero-net electric retrofit of its Watsonville headquarters. 

“A whole bunch of people came together and discovered they were all thinking the same thing,” says Greenpower Clean Energy Organizer and APAP co-chair Leslie Austin.
News and photo courtesy of Graniterock. Pictured, Graniterock CFO Steve Snodgrass. Read more from Graniterock’s RockBlogThe Monterey County Weekly and The Romero Institute.