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Gaia Energy Systems and SolarWorld Streamline Solar Procurement for Local Government Agency

  Gaia Energy Systems and SolarWorld Streamline Solar Procurement for Local
  Government Agency

Mendocino Transit Authority becomes first in nation to buy and install solar
system through local-government solar-purchasing cooperative

Business Wire

CAMARILLO, Calif. & SANTA ROSA, Calif. -- August 23, 2013

Gaia Energy Systems, a full-service solar design and installation firm based
in Northern California, has installed 18 kilowatts of SolarWorld solar panels
at the headquarters of the Mendocino Transit Authority (MTA) in Ukiah, Calif.
The project is the first in the nation to take advantage of a renewable-energy
group-buy program for local government agencies.

Mendocino Transit Authority's 18-kW installation of SolarWorld solar panels is
the first in the nati ...

Mendocino Transit Authority's 18-kW installation of SolarWorld solar panels is
the first in the nation to take advantage of a new local-government
solar-purchasing cooperative. (Photo: Business Wire)

The program, Helping Governments across the Country Buy (HGACBuy), allows
participating local governments to reduce the cost of going solar by sharing
procurement contracts, pooling technical expertise and leveraging economies of
scale. By using HGACBuy’s new renewable-energy contracting vehicle – which
launched in early 2013 – to procure its solar array, MTA avoids issuing an
individual RFP, saving time, staff resources and money.

“As a government solar contractor, we have seen the inefficiency and expense
of the usual procurement process,” said Kate Collins, CEO of Gaia Energy
Systems. “Having the ability to bring our government customers an easy,
cooperative-purchasing solution, which alleviates the cumbersome nature of the
procurement system, is an incredible benefit.”

Gaia helped MTA access HGACBuy through its relationship with SolarWorld, the
program’s top-ranked supplier of solar panels, systems and engineering and
construction services. SolarWorld is the only HGAC-approved supplier to
produce high-quality solar cells and panels entirely on American soil. As a
SolarWorld Authorized Installer, Gaia is an approved subcontractor under
SolarWorld’s HGAC contract.

“We appreciate having access to quality American-made solar panels at
attractive prices. We thought the application process was straight-forward and
reasonably fast,” said Dan Baxter, general manager for MTA.

The project is Gaia’s third solar installation for MTA, which provides transit
service throughout 2,800 square miles of coastal and inland Mendocino County.
The third system is comprised of 66 American-made SolarWorld solar panels
mounted atop a bus shade structure near the agency’s administrative building.
MTA plans to work through HGAC and Gaia to cost-effectively procure additional
solar capacity in the future.

“SolarWorld’s inclusion in the HGACBuy program is bearing fruit for our
Authorized Installers and their government customers,” said Kevin Kilkelly,
president of SolarWorld Americas. “Our partners pursue solar installation
through HGAC knowing that our solar systems have been pre-qualified and
competitively priced for use in government projects.”

HGACBuy is composed of more than 6,100 local and state government agencies and
nonprofits in 47 states, including cities, counties, utilities, community
colleges, universities, school districts, transportation agencies, port
authorities and fire protection districts. On behalf of its members, HGACBuy
reviews and selects products, such as solar systems, that require detailed
technical specifications and procurement through a public, competitive bid
process.

About Gaia Energy Systems

Gaia is a woman-owned small business (WOSB) that specializes in government
solar installations. Gaia has been designing and installing solar for over 19
years in Northern California with offices in Willits and Santa Rosa. Gaia is a
full-service engineering, procurement and construction firm with full
operation-and-maintenance services. The company has installed over 2.2
megawatts of government solar systems, including health centers, schools, Army
Corp of Engineers jobs, Transit Authority facilities, National Parks and
government funded low-income housing projects. Gaia has teamed with Empower
America to train and employ U.S. veterans on its solar installations. More
information at www.gaiaenergysystems.com.

About Mendocino Transit Authority

Mendocino Transit Authority has provided public transit services for Mendocino
County since 1976. MTA’s service area encompasses about 2,800 square miles and
provides a diverse system of long-distance, commute and local-fixed routes,
plus two Dial-A-Rides and one Flex Route. MTA serves a population of nearly
90,000. MTA’s mission is to provide safe, courteous, reliable, affordable and
carbon-neutral transportation services. More information at
www.mendocinotransit.org.

About SolarWorld

SolarWorld AG manufactures solar power systems and in doing so contributes to
a cleaner energy supply worldwide. The company, located in Bonn, employs
approximately 2,500 people and carries out production in Freiberg, Germany,
and Hillsboro, USA. From raw material silicon to the solar module, SolarWorld
manages all stages of production ‒ including its own research and development.
Through an international distribution network, SolarWorld supplies customers
all over the world with solar modules and complete systems. The company
maintains high social standards at all locations across the globe, and has
committed itself to resource- and energy-efficient production. SolarWorld has
been publicly traded on the stock market since 1999. More information at
www.solarworld-usa.com.

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Contact:

SolarWorld Industries America
Media Relations Manager
Devon Cichoski
Office: 805-388-6388
Mobile: 805-377-2905
Devon.Cichoski@SolarWorld-USA.com
 
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