Berkeley's Sun Light & Power has installed a solar thermal system at The Cheesecake Factory at the Stoneridge Mall in Pleasanton, California. Solar thermal is well suited for restaurant operations due to their significant hot water consumption needs – and solar thermal significantly reduces a restaurant's energy bills for the heating of water. The solar thermal collectors will provide longterm energy savings as well as help The Cheesecake Factory realize their goals of being even more sustainable and responsible to the environment.
Restaurants consume large quantities of hot water, primarily for washing dishes and cleaning purposes. The Cheesecake Factory system includes 20, Heliodyne Gobi 410 collectors that will reduce the estimated annual CO2 produced by the restaurant by 58,112 pounds. The solar water heating system is saving 9.52 therms per day. In a calendar year Nov-11 to Oct-12, the average daily savings from the system is estimated at 10.03 therms per day. This installation received an incentive check from the CSI-Thermal program in late May 2012 in the amount of $47,485.00. The solar thermal system is currently offsetting 15 percent of the hot water load and is expected to save the restaurant approximately $2,355 per year in energy (natural gas) costs.