Case Studies >


  • 23 stores, 8 states
  • 2.5 MW

COMPLETED: 2007 - 2011

Project Summary

This program of rooftop solar installations was initiated in 2007 with a feasibility study performed for REI. Our close collaborations with REI resulted in an investment framework and implementation strategy to help REI become carbon neutral by 2020. In 2008 we engineered and constructed the first 8 solar stores for REI. In 2011 we completed an additional 12 solar stores and a distribution facility and in 2012 three more systems were completed.

Blue Oak Energy Scope

Full scope engineering, procurement, and construction for 23 stores across eight states, which were selected based on multiple phases of research and financial modeling. Blue Oak Energy also executed all construction administration, vendor relations and the management of fast-paced implementation in a high traffic commercial environment.

Project Goals

This project was conceived on two basic premises; first to help REI meet their climate neutral goals by 2020, but also to meet their required Internal Rate of Return (IRR) hurdle for capital investments. It was a challenging task to determine where to go solar and how to deploy systems across their portfolio of approximately 120 stores during a time of evolving state incentives. Our comprehensive facility and cost savings study has helped REI to responsibly develop their own distributed generation portfolio.

System Specifications

Panel Type: Sharp c-Si
Panel Quantity: ~ 8,100
Racking Type: SunLink & Panel Claw
Attachment: Penetrations and ballast
Inverter Type: AEI, SMA, Solectria
System Size [DC]: 2.4 MWp
System Size [AC]: 1.9 MVA
DC Voltage: 600 V
AC Voltage: 480 V
POCC Voltage: 480 V


Key Features

  • All of these solar electric systems are net metered, with the electrical interconnection located on the load side of the meter.
  • The variety of incentive programs, rooftops and other unique considerations required a collaborative approach and a close relationship with the customer.
  • The return on investment for REI has closely tracked expectations.