FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 3, 2007
Contact: Bradley Zeve
Founder and CEO
Monterey County Weekly
bradley (at) mcweekly.com
Seaside, CA — Monterey County Weekly announced today that it has installed a solar power plant on the roof of its office building. The 33,700-watt system will meet virtually all the electrical needs of the 6,500-square-foot, 35-person newspaper office.
Bradley Zeve, Monterey County Weekly founder and CEO, says he made the shift to solar energy “to reduce carbon emissions, to model sustainability in our community, and to demonstrate how a business can do the right thing for both its business and the environment.” The Weekly is the first business in Seaside, Monterey Peninsula’s largest city, to be solar powered.
“Based on our historical usage,” Zeve says, “this system will provide an estimated 93 to 95 percent of our annual power needs. We anticipate that with a concerted effort toward conservation by our staff, we will generate 100 percent of the electricity we use between now and next Earth Day a year from now.”
Monterey County Weekly worked with Blueline Power and Acro Electric to install 162 solar panels on its rooftop — each capable of generating 208w — and five inverters.
Monterey County Weekly’s offices are located in the first commercial building designed by renowned architect Charles Moore, one of 49 architects to receive the American Institute of Architects Lifetime Achievement Award. Charles Moore was recognized for his innovative designs and for integrating interior atriums and natural light into living and working spaces. “If he were still alive, I’d imagine Charles Moore would be really excited with this project,” Zeve commented. “He was proud of the way the atriums and skylights make this a warm office and we’ve now taken this 1959 landmark building and made it energy self-sufficient in terms of its electrical needs.”
In an informative and humorous cover story profiling the new solar system in the May 3-9, 2007 edition of the Weekly, reporter Kera Abraham details not just the feel-good aspects of solar power but also its economic viability.
Monterey County Weekly is the largest circulation newspaper in one of the most spectacular counties in America. Founded in 1988, the newspaper has received scores of California and national newspaper awards over the past 19 years, and has long been recognized for its thoughtful and provocative coverage of news, arts and entertainment. It was the only newspaper in the alternative press to send a reporter to cover the war zones in both the Kuwait and Iraq wars.
Erik Cushman, publisher of Monterey County Weekly said, “Concern for the environment has proven to be a good business decision. For the first six years we’ll pay the same amount or less for our solar-generated electricity as we currently pay PG&E. In approximately 12 years we’ll have free electrical power, depending on what happens with utility rates.”
Zeve added, “Our company already reduced our carbon footprint by 8 percent since July 2006 even before installing the solar energy system. It’s been relatively easy to achieve this number through employee carpooling, biking to work, plus a number of employees converting to biodiesel vehicles. Our staff is excited by our green team’s objectives and we expect further carbon reductions ahead. Meanwhile, our business continues to grow in double-digits.”
The locally owned and independent Monterey County Weekly out-circulates the MediaNews and Gannett-owned daily papers in the market.