Sustainable Technologies

Written By: Brytann Busick
Published: October 1, 2018

It is common knowledge that electricity is one of the largest expenses in agriculture and that therefore, it is important to use energy efficiently. Sustainable Technologies will work with farming operations to determine where most energy is consumed and how much money can be saved by making energy efficiency upgrades.

Sustainable Technologies is an environmental construction company providing design and installation of efficient remediation and solar electrical systems. The company’s team of qualified engineers and electricians design, manage, and build electrical and construction projects quickly and affordably.

The company first opened shop in 1999 in San Francisco. After one year in business Sustainable Technologies moved to Alameda where they currently have an office and make equipment. Operations Manager and Owner, Ernesto Montenero, said that he is passionate about sustainable technology but that when he first started talking about sustainability 30 years ago he had to spell out the word a lot.

“Now, people know what sustainability is and it’s becoming a household name,” Montenero said. “I think that being sustainable by doing more with less and having less impact on the environment is our responsibility and that it is the right thing to do.”

Montenero’s background is in environmental science and electrical industrial controls. He has 14 years of experience operating a remediation & solar company, 25 years of experience in electrical design and installation, environmental restoration and construction and 15 years of experience building groundwater treatment systems. In addition, Montenero has his B.S. in Environmental Science, Technology, and Management, is a certified electrician, is a licensed contractor general engineering A and Electrical C-10, HazMat, HIC, and is also an energy efficiency auditor

Now, he uses his diverse skill-set and knowledge to help Sustainable Technologies provide energy solutions for industrial and agricultural applications.

“Our focus is being where the electrical power meets the environment,” Montenero said.

The main services they provide are energy efficiency, stand-alone solar pumping systems, variable speed pump panels, electrical controls, telemetry and automation.

Sustainable Technologies designs and builds solar energy systems to run 3-phase pumps, has years of experience designing and installing large commercial solar systems using ground mounted systems, and can assist with the installation of variable frequency drive motors to help clients save money.

Although his company can do any type of solar system Montenero said that they prefer not to start there.
“We are first and foremost an energy company,” Montenero said. “Solar is just one part of our toolkit.

We prefer to look at the whole operation first to see how it could better operate and for energy savings opportunities so that we can put the whole package together to have a better return on investment for clients.”

Montenero said that they try to look for projects that are win-win and that will pay back themselves, save the client money and provide a better way to steward resources.

“We are an energy company in the sense that we know energy and energy usage and how to save energy and we have been working for several engineering and oil companies and the government,” Montenero said.

Five years ago, though, Sustainable Technologies began to work with agricultural clients.

“I feel that agriculture is a very crucial part of California’s economy,” Montenero said. “Generally, I find farmers to be practical and reasonable. That kind of resonates with our way of doing business. We like to be practical and come through on the projects.”

Sustainable Technologies offers complete energy audits for agricultural industry. They can assist clients with commercial solar power systems that maximize energy generation, reduce operating costs, lower carbon emissions and promote energy independence.

Sustainable Technologies mainly services Northern California, but they also have portable solar pumping systems that can be shipped anywhere.

“In Sonoma and Marin Counties we work with farming and farm processing plans,” Montenero said. “The stand-alone solar pumping systems that we developed worked well for irrigation in sites where there is no power. It makes it very cost effective when the grid is not available or when you compare it to using a diesel pump.”

Their off-grid pumping systems work in remote locations without a connection to the grid. These stand-alone systems are used to operate any 3 phase motors and do not require batteries or a charger when using direct solar power.

Montenero said that he works to stay educated and up to date on hot button issues and that reading the Sonoma-Marin Farm News and the Ag Alert is very informative.
“Sustainable Technologies is a Farm Bureau Member because we want to be a part of the ag industry,” Montenero said. “Being a part of the largest association of farmers is a great way to do that and to be in contact with farmers.

He said that he thinks being part of associations like Farm Bureau is an important part of being involved and connected to an industry.

Montenero said that he would like people to know that although Sustainable Technologies is a small company, that are affordable, reliable and have a lot of experience providing solutions for clients relating to energy.
“We provide services that generally are reserved for much larger companies,” Montenero said. “However, we can provide them with a quicker return and in a more personal way. The same person who works as the project manager will also be the one who is at the farm making it work and establishing relationships. We are very hands-on.”

Whether energy needs are for crops, dairy or livestock Sustainable Technologies can help clients harness energy from the sun for clean, economical solutions.

To learn more about Sustainable Technologies please visit their website or call at (510) 523-1122

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