SAN DIEGO, Dec. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- At the opening of the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) Fall Conference today in San Diego, SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) announced that SunPower solar power systems installed at 26 water agencies and districts in California have exceeded expectations for overall performance. Generating the equivalent amount of electricity to power 8,800 homes each year, SunPower estimates that the systems have saved the state's public agencies a cumulative total of approximately $5.3 million over the last 12 months.
SunPower, which has designed and built about 25 megawatts of solar power systems at 43 water facility sites over the last decade, reported that those systems are generating, on average, 102 percent of expected production.
"Water agencies and facilities typically have huge energy demand and a responsibility to rate payers to minimize operational costs," said Howard Wenger, SunPower president, regions. "SunPower delivers the most efficient and reliable solar technology on the market today, with guaranteed performance that ensures these facilities lock in positive financial returns. We are very pleased that our water agency and district customers are seeing returns above and beyond expectations, delivering added value to the public agencies and their ratepayers."
Over the last year, SunPower systems at water districts have offset the production of 46.3 million pounds of carbon dioxide, according to estimates provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This is equivalent to removing 3,800 cars from California roads, or planting nearly 4,800 acres of trees.
SunPower has two new water agency projects currently under construction in California:
The company is building a 922-kilowatt system for Western Municipal Water District (Western) at its operations center in Riverside, Western's second solar installation since SunPower completed a 1-megawatt system at the West Riverside Wastewater Treatment plant, a Western-administrated and operated joint powers authority facility, in 2009. The new installation is expected to be operational early next year.
SunPower is also completing a 1.2-megawatt system for the City of Oceanside Water Utilities Department. The system is expected to generate the equivalent of 25 to 30 percent of electricity demand at the facility, and save more than $1.6 million in electricity costs over the next 20 years. It will be operational by the end of this year.
Both new systems use the SunPower T0 Tracker, a ground-mounted technology that rotates the solar panels to follow the sun during the day, increasing energy capture by up to 25 percent over conventional fixed-tilt systems, while reducing land use requirements.
The two new systems, which SunPower designed, built and will operate and maintain, are both financed under power purchase agreements. The public agencies will buy the electricity at prices that are competitive with retail rates, benefiting from a long-term hedge against rising power prices. The City of Oceanside owns the renewable energy credits (RECs) associated with the solar installation at its facility, while Western Municipal Water District is not retaining the RECs associated with its new system.
"Based on the quality and reliability of our first SunPower system and the company's extensive experience with water districts across the state, we were eager to partner with SunPower on our second solar power system," said Jeff Sims, deputy general manager, of Western Municipal Water District. "The new system will generate the equivalent of approximately 75 percent of the total electricity consumed at our facility, helping to keep rates as low as possible for our customers."
About SunPower Corp.
SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) designs, manufactures and delivers the highest efficiency, highest reliability solar panels and systems available today. Residential, business, government and utility customers rely on the company's quarter century of experience and guaranteed performance to provide maximum return on investment throughout the life of the solar system. Headquartered in San Jose, Calif., SunPower has offices in North America, Europe, Australia, Africa and Asia. For more information, visit www.sunpowercorp.com.
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SOURCE SunPower Corp.