SunPower’s solar system is expected to save the water treatment plant more than US$4 million over 20 years. The installation has a total of 22,936 solar panels and will save about 15 million kWh every year.
"With more than 300 days of sunshine each year, Phoenix is a natural for using solar power," said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. "The Lake Pleasant Water Treatment Plant project is the latest in a series of solar initiatives utilized at various city locations to increase the city’s commitment to sustainable energy development."
SunPower Corp. had also announced the completion of four solar power systems, totaling 3.8 MW at public water agencies and water treatment facilities in California beginning of last year.
The city of Phoenix also has a SunPower solar system that generates 5.4 MW at Sky Harbor and 100 kW systems at the Phoenix Convention Center and Burton Barr Central Library, both with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certified facilities.
At the Lake Pleasant Water Treatment Plant, a 6-megawatt ground-mounted solar array features a SunPower T0 Tracker system, which positions solar panels to follow the sun’s movement during the day, increasing sunlight capture by up to 25 percent over conventional fixed-tilt systems, while significantly reducing land use requirements. The SunPower T10 Solar Roof Tile was used for a 1.5-megawatt array atop a reservoir.
Phoenix is financing the system through a solar services agreement with SunPower. Under terms of the agreement, Wells Fargo owns the system that SunPower designed, built, and will operate and maintain. The city will buy the electricity at rates that are competitive with retail electricity, minimizing the effect of rising electricity costs with no capital investment. The renewable energy credits (RECs) associated with the system will be transferred to Arizona Public Service (APS) in fulfillment of the state’s renewable energy standard. The project was facilitated in part by APS’s Renewable Energy Incentive Program, which offers financial incentives to customers that help to offset up to 40 percent of the costs of installing solar energy.