SolarWorld installs 4,000-panel, 1.1MW project at Bay Area Water Treatment plant

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SolarWorld Power Projects Group installs a 1.1MW solar system at the North Bay Regional Water Treatment Plant. The project consists of 4,000 American-made solar panels.

The cities of Fairfield and Vacaville, California, have announced the completion of a 1.1MW solar project to power a water treatment plant. The system was designed, produced, and constructed by SolarWorld, and it is owned and operated by Sustaianble Power Group (sPower). The installation powers the North Bay Regional Water Treatment Plant, a facility on the Sacramento River delta co-owned by the two cities.

The array consists of more than 4,000 American-made SolarWorld panels, and is expected to generate approximately 2MWh per year. It uses single-axis-tracker technology to rotate the solar panels to follow the sun’s path, capturing more solar energy and requiring a smaller footprint compared with a fixed-tilt system.

Felix Riesenberg, Fairfield’s assistant director of Public Works, commented: “Fairfield’s goal is to utilize solar power to secure a clean alternative energy supply that will reduce the city’s overall energy costs and help keep operating costs down. This is yet another example of the Fairfield water utility being innovative to reduce operational costs and to minimize future rate increases.”

The solar project resulted from a partnership between the cities of Fairfield and Vacaville, SolarWorld, and sPower. Under the terms of this partnership, SolarWorld managed all phases of the installation – including design, engineering, procurement, permitting and construction. sPower owns the solar installation and provides the project’s financing through a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Fairfield.

Under the PPA with sPower, the cities of Fairfield and Vacaville will purchase energy at a lower rate compared with the rates of Pacific Gas & Electric Co., the cities’ local utility. Over the 20-year life of the PPA, the cities are expected to save an estimated $2 million.

“We commend Fairfield and Vacaville on making American-made solar energy part of their economic and environmental future,” said Kevin Kilkelly, president of SolarWorld Americas, the company’s commercial unit.