Big Y Foods Takes First Step in Multi-Project Solar Initiative

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - Louisville, CO

RGS Energy and Smart Energy Capital Co-developed, and Hudson Energy Solar Owns and Operates New Solar Panel System for Big Y Foods 

Louisville, CO, September 19, 2012 - Real Goods Solar, Smart Energy Capital and Hudson Energy Solar recently completed the installation of a solar array at the new Big Y supermarket in Lee, Massachusetts. Commissioned in August 2012, the array offsets approximately 15% of the building's annual electricity needs.

Visible from the Massachusetts Turnpike, the 343kW system is installed on the roof of the building and on a solar awning above the store's entrance. The in-store café features a flat panel screen to enable customers to view the real-time system operation as well as view educational information regarding solar energy.  

The project was funded by a power purchase agreement through Smart Energy Capital, a leading solar developer and financier. Hudson Energy Solar, a specialist in providing municipal, commercial and residential customers with renewable energy solutions, will own and operate the system. Design and installation was led by RGS Energy, the commercial and utility division of Real Goods Solar. 

According to Gary Kuchyt, manager of Big Y Foods' energy and sustainability programs, this installation is the company's first solar project in Massachusetts. Big Y is under contract with Hudson Energy Solar through a power purchase agreement signed with Smart Energy Capital to install projects at three more of Big Y's Massachusetts facilities totaling over 2.7 megawatts.  "For nearly four decades, Big Y has been committed to conserving energy and reducing waste," noted Kuchyt. "Preserving resources is important to us as a company ― not only is it good business, it's simply the right thing to do."

Jeffrey Schmidt, president of RGS Energy, commented: "This system will give the public a great opportunity to see solar energy production and understand the impact it can have on our daily lives. Big Y is not only taking control of their store's electricity costs, it is demonstrating its commitment to sustainability in a very visible way."

Abe Grohman, chief executive officer of Hudson Energy Solar, said: "We applaud Big Y for their actions to pursue renewable energy alternatives via solar energy, which is sure to present sustained benefits both in terms of environmental and financial savings. We are excited to be a part of this significant environmental initiative for Big Y and look forward to future installations planned for their three additional facilities."

According to Rob Krugel, a managing partner of Smart Energy Capital, this installation is the first that showcases the successful collaboration between RGS Energy, Smart Energy Capital, and Hudson Solar Energy to deliver green energy to the Big Y stores in Massachusetts. "Smart Energy's mission is to rapidly expand the market for solar by creating and delivering the most efficient capital solutions possible," said Krugel. "By combining our financing and development expertise with RGS Energy's engineering, design and construction expertise under a single umbrella, we were able to deliver a complete solution to Big Y stores for this project. We're looking forward to the completion of the rest of the Big Y installations." 

About Big Y Foods

Big Y Foods, headquartered in Springfield, MA, Big Y is one of the largest independently owned supermarket chains in New England.  Proud to be family owned and operated, they currently operate 66 locations throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts with over 10,000 employees. Founded in 1936 by brothers Paul and Gerald D'Amour, the store was named after an intersection in Chicopee, Massachusetts where two roads converge to form a "Y".

About Real Goods Solar and RGS Energy

Real Goods Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: RSOL), and its commercial and utility division RGS Energy, is a leading residential, commercial and utility solar energy EPC provider, having installed over 13,000 solar systems. From the first public sale of solar panels in 1978 to multi-megawatt installations, the clean energy aspirations of our clients have been the driving force behind our business. With over three decades of experience, we integrate unmatched industry expertise and engineering skill with innovative financing strategies to guide organizations to profitable energy solutions. For more information about RGS Energy, please visit www.rgsenergy.com, or call (888) 507-2561.

About Smart Energy Capital

Smart Energy Capital, LLC is a leading solar development and finance company headquartered in White Plains, New York.  Smart Energy Capital maintains access to multiple investor funds and has successfully developed and financed more than 65 MWs of solar PV projects over the past 18 months for municipalities, schools, commercial entities, and utilities across the country. For more information about Smart Energy Capital, please visit www.smartenergycapital.com, or call (914) 618-4788. 

About Hudson Energy Solar

Hudson Energy Solar harnesses the power of the sun to provide innovative, sustainable energy products to municipal, commercial and residential customers. With the installation and maintenance of solar photovoltaic systems on home and building rooftops, Hudson Energy Solar brings more affordable, renewable energy directly to the consumer enabling them to reduce their environmental impact as well as their energy costs. With no upfront fees, customers pay only for the power generated by the system, providing significant savings on their electric rates. Hudson Energy Solar Corp. is a subsidiary of Just Energy Group Inc., a publicly traded company serving close to 2 million customers across North America. Visit hudsonenergysolar.com to learn more.

Media Contacts:

Real Goods Solar: Amy Bowman, 203.210.7710, amy.bowman@realgoods.com
Smart Energy  Capital: Rob Krugel, 914.618.4694, rob@smartenergycapital.com
Investor Relations: Ron Both, Liolios Group, Inc., 949.574.3860,  RSOL@liolios.com