North Coast Solar Stocks

April 3, 2009

Inland Empire Utilities Agency and SunPower Dedicate 3.5-Megawatt Solar Power Installation

Filed under: SPWR — Tags: , , — Jason @ 8:00 am

Friday April 3, 2009, 8:00 am EDT

Electricity Cost Savings Expected to Reach $500,000 Annually

CHINO, Calif., April 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA), a municipal water agency, and SunPower Corp. (SPWRA, SPWRB), a Silicon Valley-based manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, solar panels and solar systems, today announced the completion of a 3.5-megawatt solar power installation at four IEUA facilities in Chino, Ontario and Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. As a result of the installation, the agency expects to save a half million dollars per year in electricity costs.

“With the completion of this new system, IEUA is now producing nearly half of its electricity from alternative energy sources,” said Patrick Shields, executive manager of operations at the IEUA. “SunPower provided high-efficiency technology to ensure we are maximizing the energy produced on site, and completed the installation in just five months. The solar system furthers our commitment to sustainable practices, and is a source of pride in the community.”

As an alternative to outright purchase of the solar power system, IEUA financed the project through Morgan Stanley under the SunPower Access(TM) power purchase agreement (PPA) program. The agency is purchasing electricity generated from the system from the financier, which owns and operates the system. As a result, IEUACA will benefit from immediate savings and a long-term hedge against rising peak power prices. IEUA owns the renewable energy credits associated with the system.

“Solar makes good financial sense today for California’s public agencies,” said Tom Werner, chief executive officer of SunPower. “Our technology can be installed anywhere at any scale, and power purchase agreements such as SunPower Access eliminate the upfront capital expenditure. We applaud the District for hosting this showcase installation that demonstrates both good environmental and fiscal stewardship.”

The highlight of the system is a 1-megawatt SunPower® T20 Tracker system located just behind the agency’s Chino headquarters. Solar panels are mounted on the patented single-axis Trackers at 20-degrees of tilt. The Trackers follow the path of the sun throughout the day, generating up to 30 percent more energy than conventional fixed-tilt solar power systems. This maximizes the total amount of energy that can be delivered within the available space.

About five miles away at the agency’s Regional Plant 1 in Ontario, a 700-kilowatt array of SunPower Trackers was installed alongside a 137-kilowatt SunPower® T10 Solar Tile system on top of a capped reservoir. The modular T10 Solar Tiles are self-ballasted (non-penetrating to the surface), tilted at a 10-degree angle to increase energy capture, and designed to flexibly adapt to the size and requirements of select ground sites or virtually any flat rooftop.

T10 Solar Tiles were also installed at two more locations – a 624-kilowatt array at the IEUA’s Carbon Canyon Treatment Plant in Chino, and a 1-megawatt system atop the Inland Empire Regional Composting Authority (IERCA) located in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. The IERCA array was built in partnership with the Los Angeles County Sanitation District through a joint power agreement.

Using conversion formulas provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the 3.5-megawatt SunPower system will avoid more than 7.7 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually, equivalent to removing more than 19,000 cars from the road over the expected 30-year life of the system.

About Inland Empire Utilities Agency

The Inland Empire Utilities Agency is a municipal water district located in western San Bernardino County, California. The Agency’s mission is to supply imported drinking water and recycled water, to collect and treat wastewater, and provide other utility-related services to the 850,000 residents living within its service area.

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