So what’s the perfect trend to start in Sun Valley, Calif.?  How about the first-ever cable-suspended free span solar energy system in the world introduced by REM Eyewear and P4P (Power for the Planet) executives under the shade created by the solar panels in the parking lot of REM Eyewear headquarters.

“Those that do well, have a responsibility to do good,” says Mike Hundert, REM Eyewear CEO. “The installation of this solar suspension system here at our small business creates for us an energy company in our airspace, leveraging our property ownership in financially sound ways, making this a good business decision. At the same time, we demonstrate to our fellow small business owners that we, regardless of size, can play an important role influencing and creating clean energy by stepping up and implementing ways to harness the gift delivered by the sun.”

The patented, cable-supported photovoltaic system is expected to generate 40,877 kilowatt-hours of renewable electricity per year, enough to power five to six single family homes and to prevent 1.5 million pounds of carbon from being released into the atmosphere. The system is grid-tied, which means the power generated feeds into the electric grid. When the company is making more power than it’s using, the electric meter will run backwards, when the company is using more power than it’s making, electricity is pulled from the grid.

“These solar arrays not only look revolutionary, they are also revolutionary,” says Steven Conger, chairman and CEO of P4P Energy, the company that created and installed the system. “The beauty of this array of solar panels is that it is multi-functional, not only providing electricity but shaded parking. This same system could save up to 12 million gallons of water per mile per year by reducing evaporation, if placed over the California aqueducts 700 miles of water. The possibilities are truly revolutionary.”    

—Christie Walker