Solar panels for a 1.5 megawatt energy project at the Crescent City Harbor are due to arrive by Feb. 28, the port’s deputy harbormaster told commissioners Tuesday.

Santa Ana-based EcoForce Solutions, subcontractor with American Diversified Energy, is scheduled to begin installing solar panels by late March, according to Deputy Harbormaster Lane Tavasci. The firm will use the old Englund Marine building at 201 Citizens Dock Road for storage and was scheduled to bring their equipment to Crescent City on Wednesday, Tavasci said.

EcoForce Solutions will prepare installing the solar panel by excavating trenches from the Citizens Dock transformer to an area near the flagpole and between the Alber and Pacific Choice Seafood buildings, Tavasci said. They also need to install new transformers, he said.

“I’m assuming that by the 20th all underground materials will be here, the panels are scheduled for the 28th,” Tavasci said. “They have a full schedule of items they have to do.”

The update on the solar project came after harbor commissioners rejected two bids to replace a 40 foot by 80 foot portion of steel roof on the Alber Seafood Building at 161 Starfish Way in preparation for solar panel installation.

One bid, from Red Sky Roofing, included a quote for $17,000 to install a 40 by 85 foot corrugated steel roof. Another bid, from George Mayer of GR Construction, of Crescent City, offered a quote of $18,125 to replace an 80 foot by 52 foot section of roof on the building.

Commissioners asked harbor staff to put the project out to bid, comparing costs for installing a vinyl roof against costs for installing a corrugated steel roof.

“My suggestion is we go out and direct staff to get two vinyl quotes and two metal quotes that are apples to apples to apples to apples,” said Commissioner Wes White.

Wes White’s colleague, Carol White, asked the quotes be both for the whole roof and for the section designated for replacement. She also noted with no prevailing wages, the bid from GR Construction was problematic.

This direction came after Tavasci said there were no warranties available for corrugated steel roofs, while vinyl roofs typically carried 15-year warranties. The roof currently on the Alber Seafood building was installed in 2006, he said.

However, Board President Jim Ramsey noted when it was installed, the roof was pieced together “a little bit at a time here, a little bit at a time there and a little bit as needed.”

Ramsey said he was concerned about what kind of delay putting the re-roofing project back out to bid would have on the overall solar project. He noted at a previous meetings commissioners denied a request from American Diversified Energy to extend the completion date for the project. Harbor commissioners gave American Diversified Energy a completion deadline of July 15.

“What we’re doing by doing this more is we’re really pushing them,” Ramsey said.

The Crescent City Harbor District hopes by installing solar panels it will save $35,000 annually on its electricity payments. The harbor district would be entitled to $20,000 annually in site lease fees for the full 25 years of the lease for a total of $500,000, according to staff reports.

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