San Diego Humane Society Adoption Center: Lowering Energy Bills and Keeping Dogs Cool

Commercial Case Study

San Diego Humane Society Adoption Center
San Diego, California


The San Diego Humane Society began a major renovation on its Adoption Center in San Diego, California in May of 2022. The organization wanted to incorporate solar in a way that not only to reduce its energy costs, but also provided shade for the facility’s dog agility area. The commercial solar system would be built in conjunction with various other construction projects.


HES Renewables used a carport design to create a 120-panel solar array that covered the facility’s outdoor agility area. Lights mounted beneath the array create a safe, well-lit area for the animals if they are to be taken out to the area at night. The addition of shade to the area also creates a comfortable yard for potential pet adopters to play with the animals they are considering adopting.

Customer Benefit

The solar system will create an estimated 87,595 kWh per year and has a payback period of 7.2 years. Over the next 25 years the solar system will save the property an estimated $1,132,930 in total electric bill savings. The HES Renewables team ensured the organization received the maximum incentives for including a California commercial solar system in their property redesign project. One of the intangible benefits of the solar system reaches the employees, volunteers, and the animals each time they enjoy a cool, shaded, and beautiful experience in the dog agility area or in one of the “catio” outdoor areas for cats. 

At the ribbon cutting for the new facility on February 13th, 2024, the Mayor of San Diego, Todd Gloria, took a moment to give us his view of the importance of San Diego commercial solar: “The city has an ambitious climate action plan that envisions transferring to 100% renewable energy by the year 2035,” said Todd Gloria, Mayor of San Diego. “We can’t do it without the solar community helping to take existing buildings like this one here at the San Diego Humane Society and making sure it runs on clean solar energy. So this project today is a way that we’re helping to actually achieve our climate goals while at the same time reducing costs for non-profit organizations like the Humane Society. This organization does powerful work, and the more of those resources that they can put towards caring for animals, that they don’t have to put towards energy, is incredible. So this is a multi-faceted win for not just the Humane Society but for San Diego.”

A dog play area of Astroturf gets shade from a solar array build atop girders.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the impact of the 120 solar panels that were installed by HES Renewables to conserve energy and reduce costs. Beyond their primary function of supplying energy, these panels will have the added benefit of providing shade to our animals, staff and volunteers who are enjoying our new outdoor agility yards.”

Jane Elliot-Hughes

Sr. Director, Support Services at San Diego Humane Society


Quick Facts

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We are a San Diego-based solar energy production and energy storage installation company. We have been an energy innovator since 2001 and can handle projects from solar-only arrays to micro-grid solar and storage systems with on-site EV charging stations. 

If you’re looking into the benefits of on-site energy production, energy storage, or EV Charging capability, we’d love to speak with you. We’ll show you how to lower and stabilize energy costs, receive the maximum incentives, open new revenue streams, and gain control over one of the largest expenses of your business or commercial property. 

Click here to be contacted by an HES Renewables representative, or simply dial us at 866-HES-RNEW (866-437-7639).

Robert Laverty

Senior Energy Consultant, Residential

Robert Laverty joined the HES team in the summer of 2018, bringing his ten years of solar design experience and his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Puget Sound with him. Robert is dedicated to finding solutions to help families produce and store electricity in order to reduce their reliance on grid power as well as help reduce their household’s carbon footprint. Robert’s experience as a newspaper editor as well as his involvement with the sustainability-focused Rocky Mountain Institute drives him to constantly seek out innovative ways to meet energy needs through renewable resources as well as helps him share those ideas with Southern California homeowners. When not at work or volunteering time with his church or community, Robert spends time with his wife and two sons or pursues his passion of fly fishing.

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