Solar Power Inc. announced that it has been selected to design and install photovoltaic (PV) solar systems on two of Ventura County’s buildings. This announcement came after a unanimous vote by the County of Ventura Board of Supervisors.

The Roseville, California based Solar Power Inc. will lead Ventura County’s entry into the solar energy field with the installation of a 328 kW system on the Fleet Services and Public Works buildings at the Saticoy Operations Yard and a 169 kW system on the County’s Vanguard building.

Prior to this agreement, there was a long-term effort on the part of the Ventura County government who have longed for solar energy for quite some time. Steve Morgan who serves as the Chief Deputy Director for the County was quoted as saying, “We have always been interested in renewable energy as a viable economic strategy. When we began to pursue LEED certification for some of our newer facilities, we became more determined than ever to invest in a solar system that would make economic and environmental sense. This project helps us achieve that goal.”

In 2008, a team of Ventura County personnel was formed to research opportunities for a solar energy system. Traditionally, these experts would seek dedicated funding for such a project, however, this team identified a structure financing system called a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) that would allow the County to host the system and purchase the power it produces at a rate that would offer energy savings. Unfortunately for Ventura, this idea collided with one of the greatest economic downpours in recent times. When things looked dim for Ventura County, Solar Power Inc. came to the rescue.

Solar Power Inc. was able to facilitate the project by introducing Solar Power Partners, Inc. (SPP). SPP arranged for financing of the project and will own and operate the solar arrays over the term of a PPA. Solar Power Partners is one of the most successful commercial solar PPA providers in the country.

One of the leaders at Solar Power Inc. who played an integral role in the Ventura agreement was Barry Ferrell, who serves as President of the company’s commercial sales division. Prior to his time at Solar, Ferrell was the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for International DisplayWorks, Inc. (IDW) where he directed worldwide sales, growing revenue from $10 million in 2001 to over $100 million in FY 2006. Ferrell began working for IDW in 2001 as a Production Coordinator with the primary focus on Hong Kong and China operations. In 2002, he was appointed Domestic Sales Manager. Prior to joining IDW, Ferrell worked as an analyst in the technology sector of a brokerage firm.

When asked about the impact of this agreement, Ferrell was quoted as saying, “It has been especially rewarding to work with the Ventura County officials to develop a solution that will help them attain their energy and cost saving goals. Their unwillingness to abandon this project at a time when forces outside of their control seemed insurmountable is inspirational. Like many local governments across the state of California, Ventura County has initiated a program to adopt solar at many of its operations. We hope to work with County officials on future projects as they continue their migration to solar in other areas of the County’s operations as a cost-saving alternative to traditional utility-sourced electricity.”

Currently, Solar Power Inc. is trading in the $1.00 range and is quickly showing that it is a friend of both Wall Street and the environment. If this company continues to break new ground in California, Solar Power Inc. may be a force in the future.