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Solar FlexRack Tracker System Conquers Difficult Terrain and Site Layout at Northern California Cheese Factory

Today, Solar FlexRack, a division of Northern States Metals, announces that its Solar FlexRack Tracker mounting system has been installed as part of a recently completed PV solar installation at the Sierra Nevada Cheese Company in Willows, CA. Faced with irregular terrain and an oddly shaped installation site at the Northern California location, Solar FlexRack worked with Granite Bay Energy to make the installation possible.

“This was a highly challenging location for a solar installation. The site was triangular-shaped and included several different levels of terrain,” noted Granite Bay Energy President, Holli Tamas. “The Solar FlexRack Tracker system has a modular design that simplifies dealing with terrain obstacles and uneven topography. This flexibility meant that we could install a single-axis tracking system to optimize energy production.”  

The solar installation is the first for Sierra Nevada Cheese, which specializes in handcrafted, natural, and organic dairy products. Solar was installed to offset energy usage at the facility and to further their commitment to a sustainable green farming program, which also includes the use of energy-efficient motors and equipment, a self-contained wastewater treatment facility and energy-efficient lighting.

“Field layout flexibility is an integral design feature of the Solar FlexRack Tracker system,” noted Tom Meola, CEO for Solar Flex Rack. “With a decentralized drive system each table, or section of modules, has its own controller and actuator. This means that flat terrain without any obstacles is no longer a prerequisite for large scale tracker systems. This opens the door for many developers to install solar systems which maximize output on land once considered unusable.”

The installation includes 774 NESL 290 watt solar panels and will produce 468,994 kWh of power yearly, offsetting 50% of the Sierra Nevada Cheese Company’s energy needs. The system saves the equivalent not generating 38,384 tons of CO2 and not driving 95,960,000 miles.

About Solar FlexRack

As a division of Northern States Metals, Solar FlexRack has a heritage of innovation in the design and manufacture of complex metal parts and sub-assemblies and applies this knowledge in the development of solar mounting products. An established leader in the PV industry, Solar FlexRack offers ground, roof, and tracking systems; along with a number of engineering and field support services. The company has over 750 MW of solar racking installations in place in twenty-seven states across America and four countries globally. To learn more visit

About Granite Bay Energy 

Granite Bay Energy was founded in 2000 and has installed more than XXMW of solar electric generating capacity and thousands of solar pool heating and solar domestic hot water heating systems throughout California, Nevada, and Hawaii. For more information:

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