California Pool goes Solar

April 28, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] Burdened by increasing energy costs to operate Sebastopol’s community swimming pool, Western Sonoma County Swimmers and the City of Sebastopol have joined with Solar Works to install a photovoltaic (PV or solar electric) system that will operate the pool’s pumps. Combined with other energy efficiency measures, the PV system will save the City more than $12,000 annually. The cost of the project will be $62,680 instead of $130,000, thanks to $67,320 in California Energy Commission (CEC) rebates.Nestled in Ives Park in the heart of Sebastopol, the public pool serves the needs of swimmers of all abilities throughout the West County. In recent years Ives Pool has struggled financially to stay above water. The new PV system will protect against increasing energy costs and secure the community pool’s financial future. The 17.5 kilowatt (kW) grid-tied PV system will sell power back to PG&E during the day, earning credit for excess electricity produced, then buy electricity back from the utility at night. The system will cover the south facing pool house roof with 126 BP Solar 160 Watt modules and seven 2500 Watt SMA America Sunny Boy inverters. The system is expected to produce over 25,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) each year and offset up to 35% of the facility’s electricity bill.
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