News | August 12, 2008

Universal Forest Products Completes 500kW Mitsubishi Electric Solar System

THORNTON, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pacific Power Management, LLC, announced today that they have completed the design and installation of a 500 kilowatt DC solar electric system for Universal Forest Products (UFP) in Thornton, Calif. The $4.4 million project, which qualified for a $1.1 million solar rebate from Pacific Gas and Electric Company, was dedicated on Wednesday, August 6.

The state-of-the-art system is comprised of 3,311 Mitsubishi Electric 180-watt modules and one SatCon 500kW inverter. The system performance will be monitored by Pacific Power Management's proprietary SolarWatch™ with a display monitor for real-time production measurement.

"We are proud to say we're doing something that can help the environment like drawing on the sun, a renewable natural resource, which will power our plant for many decades to come," said Max Jones, general manager of operations of Universal Forest Products. "This move to solar power follows along with UFP's national goals, both environmentally and fiscally."

The cost of the system's installation was partially offset with $1.1 million in solar rebates from PG&E and is expected to generate 800,000 kWh per year, meeting approximately 60-70 percent of the total energy costs of the manufacturing plant. The high-performance system will help reduce UFP's carbon footprint by displacing over 32 million pounds of carbon dioxide and provide enough power to supply 3,325 homes over a 25-year period.

"We're pleased our solar panel technology has been used for this large scale wood fabrication plant installation," added Gina Heng, director of sales and marketing for Mitsubishi Electric USA, Photovoltaic Division. "It is exciting to collaborate with two such innovative and respected companies."

Commenting on the new installation, John Chin, account executive of service and sales at PG&E said, "We applaud Universal Forest Products for its vision and wisdom to better manage their energy costs while also helping the environment. Advancing solar is consistent with our customers' energy vision and our goals of encouraging the development of clean and renewable power."

With energy costs skyrocketing, the solar installation will help UFP reduce their costs for the distribution center. When the plant is not operating, the solar system will feed electrical power back into PG&E's electrical grid.

"UFP showed great initiative in going solar," commented Mark Frederick, managing partner of Pacific Power Management. "They have shown real leadership in making such a large investment in our environment. After it has paid for itself it will help give them a competitive advantage, allowing them the ability to offer job security at their plant in Thornton. We are proud to have engineered and constructed this high-performance system for them."


Pacific Power Management is a full service commercial solar provider. Our services include assessment, financing support, design, engineering, installation, web-based monitoring, maintenance and public relations support to promote our customer's environmental leadership. The company emphasizes first-class service, efficient, high-quality systems and complete project management. The company's proprietary, flat-roof racking systems are designed for a 50-year life and high solar panel output efficiency. More information at:


Since its founding in 1955 as a single sales office serving the manufactured housing industry, Universal Forest Products has become a leading supplier to the following major markets. The company manufactures and engineers:

  • Wood and wood-alternative products for do-it-yourself retail home centers;
  • Structural lumber products for the manufactured housing industry.
  • Engineered wood components for the site-built construction market;
  • Specialty wood packaging for various industries
  • The company also provides framing services for the site-built market and forms for concrete.


Mitsubishi Electric is one of the world's largest manufacturers and providers of solar power technology, including PV cells, modules and inverters. The company's eco-friendly photovoltaic systems are used throughout the world to bring clean, reliable energy to residences, business, power generation plants, schools, factories and areas without access to electricity, as well as other applications such highway and stadium lighting.

In the United States, Mitsubishi Electric photovoltaic panels are marketed by Mitsubishi Electric & Electronics USA, Inc., and sold only through authorized distributors and installers. For more information visit or call 714.220.2500.


Pacific Gas and Electric Company, incorporated in California in 1905, is one of the largest combination natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, the company is a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation.

There are approximately 20,000 employees who carry out Pacific Gas and Electric Company's primary business—the transmission and delivery of energy. The company provides natural gas and electric service to approximately 15 million people throughout a 70,000-square-mile service area in northern and central California. For more information at:

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