Jan 07, 2010

Western Riverside Co. Regional Wastewater Authority Dedicates 1-Megawatt SunPower Solar Power System

SunPower designed and built system, financed with Wells Fargo through $100 million sale leaseback program announced by companies last year

Western Riverside County Regional Wastewater Authority, Wells Fargo and SunPower Corp. dedicated a 1-megawatt solar power system at the West Riverside Wastewater Treatment Plant in Corona, Calif. SunPower designed and built the system, and financed the system with Wells Fargo through the $100 million sale leaseback program announced by the companies in June 2009.

"Solar power systems help public agencies reduce costs and benefit the community by reducing the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere," said the authority's chairperson, Brenda Dennstedt, who is on the board of directors at Western Municipal Water District, an authority partner. "This system will generate the equivalent of about 25% of the power needed to run the wastewater treatment plant, which is also about the same amount of power that would supply roughly 200 homes each year."

Under the financing program used for the project, SunPower enters into power purchase agreements with qualified customers and Wells Fargo finances and owns the system that SunPower designs, builds, operates and maintains. The authority is buying the electricity at prices that are competitive with retail rates and benefiting from a long-term hedge against rising power prices, the company said. The authority is not using the environmental claims associated with the system.

On the 9-acre site, SunPower's solar panels were installed with the SunPower T20 Tracker system. The Tracker follows the sun's movement during the day, increasing sunlight capture by up to 30% over conventional fixed-tilt systems, while significantly reducing land use requirements, the company said.

"SunPower offers high performance solar technology and financing expertise that helps customers maximize savings on their electricity expenditures," said Tom Werner, SunPower's CEO. "Based on our experience delivering systems and service to more than 20 water agencies in the Western U.S., the authority can count on the reliability and performance of this SunPower system."