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2.2MW solar power system completed in California

Posted: 24 Feb 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:solar system power? California solar? completion power solar?

SunPower Corp., California's Lake County and the Lake County Sanitation District (LACOSAN) announced the completion of a 2.2MW solar-electric power system on three sites, including the county jail and two wastewater treatment plants. Combining this new system with an existing 1MW solar power installation, Lake County is now home to the largest solar power installation on county facilities in California. The combined 3.2MW system produces the equivalent of 94 percent of the facilities' electricity requirements.

"We expect these solar power installations to save Lake County taxpayers and ratepayers between $1.6 million and $5 million over the next 20 years, depending on utility rate increases," said Mark Dellinger, special districts administrator for LACOSAN. "SunPower offered high-efficiency technology that maximizes the amount of solar power generated, and a turnkey solution that helped to accelerate design and construction."

"These solar facilities represent a critical part of Lake County's overall energy program," said Denise Rushing, chair of the Lake County board of supervisors. "The county truly appreciates the innovation demonstrated by SunPower and GE, and for their partnership with us to make this happen."

GE Energy Financial Services, a unit of GE, in partnership with SunPower, financed and owns the system as well as the associated renewable energy credits and environmental benefits. Using conversion formulas provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the 2.2MW SunPower system will avoid more than 131 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions over the next 30 years, equivalent to removing close to 11,000 cars from the road.

Under a SunPower Access power purchase agreement (PPA), the partnership is selling electricity to the county and LACOSAN at rates that are competitively priced against utility rates, providing the county and LACOSAN with a long-term hedge against rising peak power prices.

"Lake County and LACOSAN took advantage of the SunPower Access PPA to build and host emission-free solar power plants at their facilities with no upfront capital expenditure," said Tom Werner, SunPower CEO.

At the county and LACOSAN facilities, SunPower designed and installed a system that uses SunPower solar panels, the most efficient solar panels on the market today, with the SunPower Tracker system. The Tracker follows the sun's movement during the day, increasing sunlight capture by up to 30 percent over conventional fixed-tilt systems, while significantly reducing land use requirements.

The SunPower arrays in the system include a 602kW installation at the Lake County Jail; two installations at the Northwest Wastewater Treatment Plant, including one 281kW array and one 764kW array; and a 522kW array at LACOSAN's Southeast Wastewater Treatment Plant.





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