Rancho California Water District (RCWD) and SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWRA, SPWRB) today announced that SunPower will design and construct solar power systems totaling 1.7 megawatts at two RCWD facilities. The systems are expected to save the district approximately $8.5 million in electricity costs over the next 25 years. In 2009, SunPower designed and built a 1.1-megawatt solar system for RCWD's Santa Rosa Water Reclamation Facility in Murrieta, Calif.
Under this new agreement, SunPower will build a 1.1-megawatt SunPower T0 Tracker system at the district's Senga Doherty Pump Station in Murrieta. The Tracker positions SunPower solar panels, the most efficient solar panels available on the market today, to follow the sun's movement during the day. This increases sunlight capture by up to 25 percent over conventional fixed-tilt systems, while significantly reducing land use requirements.
At RCWD headquarters in Temecula, SunPower will construct a 610-kilowatt solar parking canopy structure, providing both shade in the parking lot and solar electric power for RCWD's facility.
The systems will be funded with qualified energy conservation bonds (QECBs), which are issued by the state of California and are designed to provide low-interest financing to promote the use of renewable energy in state, local, and tribal government facilities. RCWD will own the renewable energy credits associated with the systems.
"The system that SunPower completed for us in 2009 reliably delivers significant monthly savings on our electricity costs, which we pass on to our customers," said Andrew Webster, RCWD's chief engineer. "As a result, we chose to work with SunPower again when we expanded our commitment to solar power, and further maximize our savings and the environmental benefits for our community."
"With SunPower systems operating at more than 20 water agencies, representing approximately 19 megawatts in total, our experience and ability to deliver guaranteed performance sets us apart," said Jim Pape, president of SunPower's residential and commercial business group. "We applaud RCWD's leadership in taking advantage of the QECB program. Clean, reliable solar power makes good sense today for public agencies and our environment."
Construction on the two systems is expected to start this summer and be completed by the end of the year.