GE & SunPower Complete 2.2-MW Solar System

SunPower Corp., GE, California’s Lake County and the Lake County Sanitation District (LACOSAN) announced the completion of a 2.2-megawatt (MW) solar-electric power system on three sites, including the county jail and two wastewater treatment plants. Combining this new system with an existing 1-MW solar power installation, Lake County is now home to the largest solar power installation on county facilities in California. The combined 3.2-megawatt system produces the equivalent of 94 percent of the facilities’ electricity requirements.

“We expect these solar power installations to save Lake County taxpayers and ratepayers between US $1.6 million and $5 million over the next 20 years, depending on utility rate increases,” said Mark Dellinger, special districts administrator for LACOSAN. “SunPower offered high-efficiency technology that maximizes the amount of solar power generated, and a turnkey solution that helped to accelerate design and construction.”

GE Energy Financial Services, a unit of GE, in partnership with SunPower, financed and owns the system as well as the associated renewable energy credits. Under a SunPower Access power purchase agreement (PPA), the partnership is selling electricity to the County and LACOSAN.

The SunPower arrays in the system include a 602-kilowatt (kW) installation at the Lake County Jail, two arrays of 281-kW and 764-kW at the Northwest Wastewater Treatment Plant and a 522-kW array at LACOSAN’s Southeast Wastewater Treatment Plant.

In a related story, SunPower announced that it has signed an agreement with Sunshire, S.r.l., a subsidiary of Api Nova Energia S.r.l., to design and build a 2.2-MW solar electric power plant in Tolentino, Italy. The project, which will be financed by regional banks via a leasing agreement, is the first phase of a planned 7.1-MW development that is expected to be completed this year.

“We are pleased to partner with Api Nova Energia to deliver clean, reliable solar power to the rapidly expanding Italian market,” said Luca Bandini, general manager of SunPower Italia. “By using SunPower’s industry-leading Tracker technology and our high efficiency solar panels, Sunshire will maximize the solar power plant’s energy delivery, while optimizing land use and reducing related costs.”

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