SAN JOSE — SunPower Corp. has started construction on 11.4 megawatts (DC) of solar power systems to power public facilities operated by the County of Santa Clara in California.
The County will own the systems, as well as their associated renewable energy credits. SunPower will construct a total of six systems at County facilities, all of which are expected to be operational by the end of 2016. SunPower estimates that the equivalent amount of electricity generated by the systems when they are operational could power more than 6,000 electric vehicles for 30 years.
“SunPower works with public agencies that require innovative, effective approaches to managing energy costs without reducing services in their communities,” said Howard Wenger, SunPower president, business units. “Solar makes sense for counties and municipalities today because it’s cost-competitive, fast to install, and supports sustainability goals. We are particularly pleased to serve the interests of the County of Santa Clara, where SunPower has been headquartered for 30 years, with high performance SunPower® solar power systems that will maximize long-term value.”
To fund the project, the County of Santa Clara secured U.S. Department of Treasury clean renewable energy bonds (CREBs), which are available to certain entities, primarily in the public sector, to finance renewable energy projects. California’s net energy metering (NEM) and RES-BCT programs also helped make ownership of on-site solar power systems accessible for the county.
At five of the county sites, SunPower is installing ground-mounted solar power systems featuring SunPower solar panels, the most efficient solar panels commercially available today. The sixth installation will be a solar carport that generates emission-free solar power while providing needed shade.
SunPower has approximately 45 megawatts of large commercial and public agency solar power systems operating or under contract in Santa Clara County.
For more than a decade, SunPower has been delivering solar solutions to cities and counties. Other customers in California have included Yolo County and the cities of San Francisco, Riverside and Ontario.