Solar Irrigation Pump Put to Work

The world’s first solar-powered 50 horsepower irrigation pump has been unveiled at the D.T. Locke Ranch in Mendota, on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley.

Camarillo, California – March 28, 2003 [] The proprietary, solar irrigation pump system, designed by WorldWater Corporation – the only one of its size in the world – provides several benefits for agriculture. It uses Shell Solar panels, for pumping groundwater, providing long-term economic savings in energy costs. “This project we’ve done with WorldWater is very unique in that it has a dual function – it is grid-connected, and if the grid fails, the solar will power the pumps when the sun shines,” said Raju Yenamandra, director of sales for Shell Solar. “This system can play a key role in the long-term viability of California’s great agricultural industry,” said Quentin Kelly, president and CEO of WorldWater Corporation, designer and builder of the system. “Solar power offers farmers an alternative energy source that is reliable, affordable and clean, which is a significant plus for air quality in the San Joaquin Valley.” WorldWater’s hybrid solar water pumping system, “AquaMax” features a 108-foot-long solar array that captures the sun’s energy to power a three-phase 36 kW, 50-horsepower irrigation pump. The system works in automatic coordination with the electric grid utilizing net metering to benefit from excess power generation. Because of its independent energy-producing abilities, the system provides farmers with an energy source for continued irrigation during an electrical black or brown-out. The system also provides solar energy to power the nearby farm shop, a house and domestic water well.
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