Installing a 584 kW SunPower® Tracker solar electric system
in the HillCanyon Water Treatment Plant is helping the City of Thousand Oaks reduce energy needs, take advantage of utility-sponsored solar incentives, and create a successful model for deploying solar in the public sector.
Chuck Rogers, Superintendent of the City of Thousand Oaks Hill Canyon Water Treatment Plant, was impressed with a SunPower representative who suggested his facility could realize a multi-million dollar rebate by installing a large-scale solar electric system on-site. “I signed the CA Self-Generation Incentive Program rebate agreement that day. After fully evaluating our options, the City Council heartily endorsed the project,” said Rogers. HillCanyon contracted for a 500 kW co-generation system in addition to their 584 kW SunPower Tracker solar power system.
THE SUNPOWER ADVANTAGE
According to Rogers, one of the reasons the city chose to contract with SunPower was the company’s unique solar tracking technology, which enables the facility to realize a higher return on investment by maximizing the system’senergy generation within the limited available space. The 584 kW system,which incorporates 2,783 SunPower solar panels, is mounted within an existing concrete-lined overflow basin on the grounds of the Hill Canyon facility. The SunPower Tracker features an innovative single-axis design that allows solar panels to follow the sun’s path throughout the day. As a result, energy capture is increased by up to 25% over fixed-tilt arrays.
A WISE FINANCIAL DECISION
Thousand Oaks made a strong financial decision by purchasing their system through a SunPower Power Purchase Agreement
(PPA), a long-term purchase agreement program that prevents high initial costs. Under the terms of this PPA
agreement, the City of Thousand Oaks does not make any out-of-pocket investment to install or maintain the solar system. MMA Renewable Ventures LLC owns the system and provided the financing, while SunPower designed and constructed the system and handles its operation and maintenance. This guarantees the City of Thousand Oaks a fixed rate for their clean solar energy over the next 20 years, after which it may choose to keep the system and assume its ownership or install a more efficient one.
ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERSHIP AND SAVINGS
The City Council and the Public Works Department take pride in their proactive leadership to reduce their electrical load on the utility grid. “We hope that in five years all of the facility’s electricity will be provided through relentless conservation and enhanced on-site energy generation,” said Rogers. Over the next 30 years,this SunPower solar system will help reduce CO2 emissions by 10,000 tons,which is equivalent to planting 2,820 acres of trees, or not driving 25 millionmiles on our California roadways.