San Diego’s Mayor Jerry Sanders just launched a new 1.135 megawatt solar power installation at the city’s Alvarado Water Treatment Plant. The panels produce about 20 percent of the plant's power, with annual electricity savings estimated at $40,000.
The Alvarado photovoltaic installation was built under a power purchase agreement (PPA) with SunEdison. Under the agreement, San Diego citizens benefit from clean, solar energy with no upfront cost, thus avoiding an estimated $6.5 million in capital installation. SunEdison built, owns and will maintain the solar system. SunEdison will sell the solar energy to the City's Water Department at costs lower than SDG&E rates.
The 1-megawatt water treatment plant site is the first of a multi-year solar deployment at City facilities that will eventually produce five megawatts of solar power and will become the largest municipal system in California, surpassing Google's planned 1.6 megawatt solar system in Mountain View, Calif.
"Installing 5 megawatts of solar panels on City-operated property is a major step toward meeting the City's target of providing 50 megawatts of renewable fueled power generation by 2013," said Mayor Sanders.
The Alvarado installation has 6,128 photovoltaic solar panels located atop the concrete roofs of all three water storage reservoirs, a total area covering approximately 4.33 acres. As part of a planned 5 megawatt solar system deployment, the Alvarado solar array marks another step forward in providing clean, renewable energy for San Diego, which has been recognized as the nation's #1 "Green Power Partnership" city by the Environmental Protection Agency since 2006. The City and SunEdison are investigating an additional 4 megawatts of solar projects at other San Diego sites including the Otay Water Treatment Facility and the Black Mountain Reservoir.