Water Treatment Plant Goes Solar -- Affordably

SunPower Corp. dedicated a 584-kilowatt solar electric power system at the Hill Canyon Water Treatment Plant in Thousand Oaks, Calif., on May 14.

The plant also installed a co-generation system and numerous energy efficiency upgrades. As a result of these measures, the city expects to save $100,000 in utility costs each year and estimates a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of more than 10,000 tons over the next 30 years, which is equivalent to planting 2,820 acres of trees.

"The city of Thousand Oaks City Council is committed to improving the quality of life for our community," said Mayor Jacqui Irwin. "Working with MMA Renewable Ventures and SunPower, we are able to maximize energy cost reductions and lower the overall amount of energy we use from conventional sources. With no initial out-of-pocket investment, the two companies have made solar power affordable today."

MMA Renewable Ventures will finance, own, and operate the solar power system at the Hill Canyon Water Treatment Plant under the SunPower Access™ program, which allows SunPower customers to purchase solar-generated electricity from a SunPower financing partner as an alternative to outright purchase of the solar power systems. The city will pay MMA Renewable Ventures for the solar electricity generated over the next 20 years. The electricity is competitively priced against retail rates, providing a long-term hedge against rising peak power prices. At the end of the term, the city will have the option to renew the agreement, transfer the equipment to a new site, or purchase the system outright.

"The Hill Canyon Water Treatment plant is making innovative use of a previously unused asset -- an existing concrete-lined overflow basin – to site its solar system and generate clean, renewable on-site electricity," said Kevin Ross, SunPower project development manager.

"They also chose to maximize energy production by utilizing high-efficiency SunPower solar panels and the proprietary SunPower(R) Tracker solar tracking system. The Tracker follows the sun as it moves across the sky, delivering up to 25 percent more energy than fixed-tilt systems."

A wholly-owned subsidiary of Municipal Mortgage & Equity, LLC, MMA Renewable Ventures finances, owns, and operates renewable energy and energy efficiency assets in the United States.

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