SolFocus: City of Coachella and its Partners Complete CPV Solar Power Plant at Water Reclamation Facility
City of Coachella and its Partners Complete CPV Solar Power Plant at Water Reclamation Facility
Project showcases Coachella’s efforts to reduce operating costs and carbon footprint at water facility
Coachella, Calif., April 28, 2011 – The City of Coachella announced today that a 420 kW concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) power plant at the City Coachella Water Reclamation Plant has been completed. The solar power installation was developed by Johnson Controls and Solar Power Partners (SPP) using 55 SolFocus SF-1100S tracking CPV systems, and will be unveiled by Coachella at 11 a.m. local time today. The installation will offset 40 percent of the reclamation plant’s daytime energy consumption. The plant has been built on disturbed land which had limited potential use until the City envisioned employing this land for renewable power generation, which would help the City reduce operating costs and its carbon footprint. Using an innovative financing structure, the City leased the land to Solar Power Partners, Inc., who financed and owns the project, and will operate the plant, selling electricity to the Water Reclamation Plant under a long-term power purchase agreement. The project was originated by Johnson Controls who is also designing and constructing the facility under contract with SPP. The plant is connected to the regional electrical grid serviced by the Imperial Irrigation District (IID).
“In Coachella, we have a firm, ongoing commitment to enhancing the City’s infrastructure to accommodate growth and improve the quality of services for our residents and businesses,” said Mayor Eduardo Garcia. “By installing the new solar energy system utilizing the latest technology available at our water reclamation facility, the City and SPP will power this critical city resource in a manner that will greatly reduce our operating expenses and help our environment at the same time. I’m proud of our team here at the City and our project partners for all the effort and support they have provided to enable us to celebrate this transition to clean, renewable power at the plant.”
“It’s exciting to see innovative projects like this new solar plant at the Coachella water plant,” said Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack, who represents California’s 45th district. “By making better use of our region’s abundant solar resources we can help achieve stronger American energy security and reduce our dangerous dependence on unstable foreign oil supplies.”
“This solar plant by Solar Power Partners, Johnson Controls, and SolFocus exemplifies the kind of visionary renewable energy development that will bring jobs and clean energy to our desert communities and the state of California,” said Assemblyman V. Manuel Perez (Assembly District 80).
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, energy costs can account for 30 percent of the total operation and maintenance costs of wastewater treatment plants, which account for approximately 3 percent of the electric load in the United States. Demand for electricity at such plants is expected to grow by approximately 20 percent over the next 15 years.i
“The Coachella Water Reclamation Plant is a prime example of how California can reduce its dependence on traditional energy sources and incorporate renewable energy for its power needs,” said Claudio Andreetta, Regional VP and GM, Energy Solutions at Johnson Controls. “Johnson Controls strives to deliver solutions that reduce carbon dioxide emissions as well as develop and build projects that make energy efficiency and sustainability a top priority.”
“Through such projects, IID continues to demonstrate it is a committed partner in the growth and development of renewable energy within our service area. IID’s Solar Solutions Program serves as a powerful tool to government entities, like the City of Coachella, in helping to meet environmental goals and reducing long-term costs,” said John Pierre Menvielle, vice president of the IID board of directors.
“This project exemplifies how smart public policies are encouraging the deployment of solar projects. Under Senate Bill 1 the ‘Go Solar California’ initiative laid the foundation for programs like IID’s Public Benefits Charge, to fund solar incentive programs,” commented SolFocus CEO Mark Crowley. “The leadership of the City of Coachella, IID, Johnson Controls, and Solar Power Partners are advancing renewable energy production in the State, to make California’s renewable energy goals a reality.”
“Solar Power Partners is proud to be working with the City of Coachella to bring solar-generated energy to their Water Reclamation Plant. As a recipient of the California Association of Sanitation Agencies’ 2009 Capital Improvement Award for another water treatment plant’s solar project, we are thrilled to bring this highly innovative and leading-edge solution to Coachella’s Water Reclamation Plant and to be working with the City to help them with their energy and environmental goals,” said Bob Powell, CEO of Solar Power Partners.
SolFocus CPV technology employs a system of patented reflective optics to concentrate sunlight 650 times onto small, highly efficient solar cells. The SolFocus SF-1100S system being deployed at the water reclamation plant features dual-axis tracking for consistent energy delivery. It also offers environmental benefits including no water usage for energy production, a small land footprint with dual use potential, and no permanent shadowing or wildlife corridor disruption. Additionally, SolFocus CPV provides the shortest energy payback and lowest greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity of any solar technology. In solar-rich regions like Coachella, SolFocus CPV technology yields significantly more energy than other technologies with an extremely light environmental footprint.
About Solar Power Partners
Solar Power Partners, Inc. (SPP) is a California-based renewable energy company that helps its customers creatively embrace solar energy. SPP develops, owns and operates distributed solar energy facilities and sells solar-generated electricity through Power Purchase Agreements (PPA), long-term energy financing solutions that help customers go green without the hassles or costs of solar facility ownership and maintenance. SPP serves the continental United States and Hawaii and teams with the nation’s best solar integrators for customized, renewable energy installations. SPP’s customers include municipalities, water and sanitation districts, corporations, hospitals, universities, airports, schools, detention centers, and utilities. http://www.solarpowerpartners.com
About Johnson Controls
Johnson Controls is a global diversified technology and industrial leader serving customers in more than 150 countries. Our 142,000 employees create quality products, services and solutions to optimize energy and operational efficiencies of buildings; lead-acid automotive batteries and advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles; and interior systems for automobiles. Our commitment to sustainability dates back to our roots in 1885, with the invention of the first electric room thermostat. Through our growth strategies and by increasing market share we are committed to delivering value to shareholders and making our customers successful. In 2011, Corporate Responsibility Magazine recognized Johnson Controls as the #1 company in its annual “100 Best Corporate Citizens” list. For additional information, please visit http://www.johnsoncontrols.com.
SolFocus is a leading manufacturer of solar energy systems based on Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPV) technology. The company’s mission is to deliver the lowest cost of solar energy in high solar resource regions of the world. Achieving this objective starts with developing industry-leading, high-efficiency products which deliver the highest energy harvest of any technology available today. When combined with volume manufacturing and component sourcing the technology drives delivery and operation costs to their lowest. In addition to low costs, SolFocus produces product that provides extended reliability and field durability, critical requirements when deploying energy systems which will remain productive in the field for over 25 years. Currently SolFocus is actively deploying product around the globe. SolFocus products can be seen operating today in Arizona, Colorado, California, Hawaii, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Spain, Australia, and Malaysia. SolFocus CPV systems are certified to the rigorous standards of IEC 62108, and are backed by Munich Re performance insurance. http://www.solfocus.com