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San Juan Water District Flips on the Switch to SunPower Solar System

published: 2011-07-21 14:32

San Juan Water District flipped on the ceremonial switch to a newly completed, high efficiency solar power system from SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWRA, SPWRB) to supply up to 90 percent of the electricity consumed by their water treatment plant, booster pump station and administration buildings and save nearly $12 million in energy costs over the 25-year life of the system.*

Approximately 40 percent of the construction cost of the project will be offset by a California Solar Initiative rebate from PG&E, with the balance recovered through energy cost savings in the first nine years of operation. According to estimates provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the system will offset the production of more than 1.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year, which is equivalent to removing 3,525 cars from California's highways over the next 25 years.

"San Juan always looks for programs that benefit our customers," said Ted Costa, San Juan Water District board president. "This project will allow the district to minimize the long-term impacts on ratepayers from rising energy costs. When we have the opportunity to help the environment and improve our bottom line, that's a win/win."

SunPower designed and built the solar power system on approximately four acres of District-owned land. The company installed SunPower solar panels, the most efficient solar panels available on the market today, on a SunPower™ T0 Tracker system. The T0 Tracker is a ground-mounted system that rotates the panels to follow the sun during the day, increasing energy capture by up to 25 percent over conventional fixed-tilt systems, while significantly reducing land use requirements.

"With SunPower systems operating at more than 20 water agencies, representing approximately 20 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 SJWD's decision to convert a small piece of underutilized land into an asset that generates clean, reliable solar power and significant savings. Solar power makes good sense today for public agencies and our environment."

*Savings are dependent upon the costof power from PG&E throughout the life of the project.

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