This stylish home near Santa Barbara, Calif.,features SunPower's best residential solar installation of 2016.

Nestled in the foothills of Santa Barbara, a Southern California architect’s showcase-worthy home complements the landscape with its stunning contemporary design. The spacious home has minimalist appeal: Gracefully extending from the hillside, it appears to be floating on its swimming pool. Optimally positioned on its corrugated zinc roof sits the 2016 SunPower Intelegant Award-winning solar installation.

The home’s SunPower® Equinox™ solar system comprises 72 345-watt panels that make the most of every ray of sunshine. SunPower dealer Good Energy Solar installed the 24.84 kW system and took home the award for the Best Residential Solar Installation of 2016.

“Design was always at the forefront of this project,” said Aaron Luckett, Owner, Good Energy Solar. “The house is gorgeous, so it was important that the solar solution would maintain that beauty. Plus, it’s a large home, so it had to be powerful, too. The Equinox system was the obvious choice.”

The Montecito home of architect John Mike Cohen features a 4,700-square-foot main floor that includes a studio, family room, kitchen, dining room, living room, office and master suite. A lower floor of 2,800-square-feet includes guest rooms and an exercise space and mechanical space.

SunPower’s Equinox systems incorporate InvisiMount®, a proprietary low-profile racking system designed for near invisibility. For this home’s spacious, gently sloping roof, using the InvisiMount hardware enabled nearly flush mounting, resulting in panels that lay flat and blend with the roof’s surface. From the ground, the panels are imperceptible, and from above, the array looks like part of the original architecture.

Luckett and his team finished the installation in October 2016. With a fully functioning system, the sun-soaked modern manor generates the majority of its energy from solar and looks great doing it.

Award-Winning Solar Installation at Clark University

On the East Coast, Solar Design Associates won the Commercial Intelegant Award for a 143 kW “floating” solar system mounted on the roof of Clark University’s new Alumni and Student Engagement Center. The university wanted to design a student center that would achieve near net-zero-energy status with its first solar array on campus.

With a bold Climate Action Plan that targets energy neutrality by 2030, Clark University is committed to sustainability. The campus features a cogeneration plant, extensive recycling and composting programs, green cleaning and green building energy policies that all work together to help the university meet its goals.

Clark University chose the architectural firm Architerra, Inc. for their sustainable building design expertise along with Solar Design Associates for their innovative PV solutions.

Architerra proposed and Solar Design Associates designed a “floating array,” a lattice framework elevated 15 feet above the building and cantilevered from its edges, on which the solar array is mounted. This elevated array maximized system capacity while accommodating access and air circulation for the building’s rooftop equipment. This floating array was a challenge requiring custom components designed and built by Solar Design Associates. 

“We are extremely proud of the installation. It required a lot of creative thinking to get the installation to meet the goals of the school, the architects and the installation team,” said Ashley Deitrich, Project Manager at Solar Design Associates. “It was a true collaboration. So many great people came together to complete this project.”

The 143 kW solar system has been in operation since July 2016, supplying 50 percent of Clark University’s Alumni and Engagement Center’s power and helping the building earn points toward LEED certification.

Annual Intelegant Awards Honor Best Solar Installations

Every year, the Intelegant Award winners take solar system design and installation to the next level. Entrants are judged on system uniformity and aesthetics, mechanical and electrical compliance and overall workmanship. Residential entrants are also evaluated by a customer satisfaction survey.

This year’s commercial and residential winners were announced at the annual SunPower Dealer Conference. With a premier network of approximately 400 of the highest quality local solar dealers who share our passion for craftsmanship and design, choosing the best of the best was difficult.

SunPower is proud of the work our dealers are doing and we recognize how their creativity, ingenuity and craftsmanship are meeting the complex, changing needs of their clients. The best solar of 2016 was fresh and inspiring, and we can’t wait to see what 2017 brings.

Congrats again to the Intelegant Award winners, Good Energy Solar and Solar Design Associates, and thanks to all of our dealers for their dedication to changing the way our world is powered. Click this link to use our solar dealer zip code locator.