Vestar Development Co. Plans Five New Solar Installations

First Two Already in Place at Desert Ridge Marketplace

Vestar Development Co. of Phoenix, Arizona recently commissioned the first two of five solar installations planned at their award-winning entertainment and retail lifestyle centers in Phoenix, Arizona.  Focused on generating clean energy for use on site, these installations totaling over 550 kW will continue the progression for more sustainable urban retail centers.  “Solar is not only great for the environment” by eliminating more than 725 metric tons of upstream CO₂ annually, says Pat McGinley, Vestar’s Vice President of Property Management, “it also saves in energy costs”. These generating facilities will begin producing on average more than 90% of the electricity needed by the Common Area electric meters which service signage, exterior building accent lighting and adjacent parking lot lights.
In addition to solar, an exterior lighting retrofit of nearly 6000 lamps and fixtures was undertaken removing over 350,000 watts.  Jim Brennan, General Manager of both Marketplaces, says “We will not only save six figures per year on our electric bills, we’ll save significantly on our lighting maintenance and repair with better and longer-lasting lamps and ballasts”.
These new investments are part of Vestar’s already established GreenStar initiative, the Southwest’s first large-scale commitment to sustainable shopping center techniques.
The Clean Energy Retrofits were project-managed by Energy Management Advisors LLC (EMA) of Scottsdale, Arizona, who carefully sized and scoped the projects to maximize available incentives and utility rebates while introducing PV solar and several new building technologies.  “Combining efficiency projects with solar at a facility is a powerful combination”, says Randy Bollig, founder and CEO of EMA. “The economic results are complementary and both are big wins for the environment and the community”.

About Vestar
Headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., Vestar is one of the leading privately held real estate companies in the western United States.  The company develops and manages retail and entertainment destinations of varying size and scale that serve as community focal points.  Since its inception in 1977, Vestar has earned a reputation for integrity and responsibility in the fields of commercial development and property management.  The company enjoys a significant market share in the Phoenix, Los Angeles and San Diego metropolitan areas.
For more information, visit the website at

About Energy Management Advisors LLC
Energy Management Advisors LLC is a consulting and project management firm specializing in Solar and Lighting/HVAC/Building Envelope energy saving solutions. 
For more information, visit the website at

Grayhawk Golf Club in North Scottsdale Undertakes
Green Initiatives

In mid 2008, work began on an ongoing project at Grayhawk Golf Club intended to boost energy efficiency as well as reduce the club’s carbon footprint.

“The project opened our eyes to the way going green can be a win-win proposition. As it turns out, the common misconception that green investment is a financial liability with little benefit is
false,” said Del Cochran, General Manager of Grayhawk Golf Club. “Not only are we doing the right thing in terms of conservation of energy and lowering our carbon footprint, in a very tangible way it’s an equitable investment.”

The improvements were implemented after an assessment made by Energy Management Advisors, LLC. The recommendations were in some cases minor and in others fairly extensive.

The first step consisted of tackling the club’s lighting by replacing less efficient bulbs, fixtures and ballasts. In all, more than 800 lamps and fixtures were replaced in the buildings including the Heather Farr, Champions Rooms and LED string lights, thereby removing more than 59,000 watts of usage.

Another phase of the project dealt with the club’s heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems (HVAC) by replacing aging and inefficient air conditioning units. In all, 21 units were installed and are 40% more efficient and use R410A refrigerant (non-ozone depleting Freon).

In an effort to bolster the building’s envelope, all the doors and windows were assessed for leaks. All of the original weather stripping and sealant was replaced.

Programmable thermostats were also installed to better control the internal temperature of the building. This allows more control for specific rooms within the clubhouse. With these features, the
retrofit dropped Grayhawk Golf Club’s annual HVAC repair bill by more than 80%.

The club also decided to generate electricity in-house from the sun. A 28 kilowatt plant was installed on the roof of the maintenance building. The generating facility will produce on average 70% of the electricity needed by the host building. A similar 30 kilowatt facility is envisioned for the clubhouse in 2010.

The Solar project alone accounts for a reduction in Carbon Dioxide emissions by 113 tons amounting to 2,925 trees saved. Other organizational objectives were met as well: cost savings (more than $100,000 per year) and a diminished impact on the environment (less electricity, less waste, more recycling). Plus, an unexpected benefit emerged – higher employee morale. Better light, better air conditioning, facilities that are easier to maintain and a sincere concern for the environment demonstrated to the employees that management is reinvesting in their work space and the environment as a whole.

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Two of Energy Management Advisor’s clients, Grayhawk Golf Club and Whisper Rock Golf Club were among the APS business customers who are counting their energy savings. Energy efficiency investments pay. Since 2006, the APS Solutions for Business program has paid $17 million in rebates to help 605 savvy businesses implement energy efficiency projects. APS commends Grayhawk and Whisper Rock for investing in projects that will strengthen their companies and benefit the community