We just dropped 30 kilowatts of solar on our rooftop in North Oakland. With 58 panels in full sun we’d need to invite 300-600 pedalers to match that with pedal power! The transformation means we are now net contributors to the electricity grid of California, and all of our electricity needs are being met by solar, as well as those of our neighbor tenants: P.L.A.C.E. and Soul Graffiti.
The photos show the process beginning with the installation of aluminum racking.
The solar install comes as we’re shifting more of our manufacturing to our Oakland location, with our expanded fleet of 3D printers. We’re making more parts in-house and sending away for fewer of them. Our plastic parts were already pretty green, being made of recycled milk jugs. Even though we now have to use new plastic spools to feed our 3D printers, we believe that the overall carbon footprint of our manufacturing has gone down significantly because parts are no longer trucked to us from Minnesota, and because the electricity is now solar.
California’s electricity needs are currently being met by 50% natural gas so there’s a long way to go with reducing carbon in the atmosphere and solar is something an individual or business can do now if they own their building. Rock The Bike purchased our building in 2016.