May 8, 2013 - SolarCity Corporation and the City of Sacramento today announced the completion of two solar installations to power the city's E.A. Fairbairn Water Treatment Plant on the American River and the Sacramento River Water Treatment Plant on the Sacramento River. SolarCity financed, installed and will maintain the solar systems at no cost to the City, with the City paying less for the renewable power generated by the solar systems than the current utility rates. With these new solar systems, the City of Sacramento will deliver the critical commodity of clean drinking water to thousands of residents using clean, solar energy.
"Sacramento is a leader in creating green jobs and reducing our carbon footprint," said Mayor Kevin Johnson. "This public-private partnership adds more solar energy to our city portfolio, reducing operating costs for ratepayers, making great progress toward the goals in our award-winning Climate Action Plan and creating jobs in our region's renewable energy industry. We are very proud of this project and all those involved."
The two new systems will generate an estimated 2.2 million kilowatt hours) of solar electricity annually, which is roughly equivalent to the amount needed to power 200 average American homes. The systems will also offset more than 78 million pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) over their lifetime, equivalent to planting 42,360 trees. SolarCity custom designed the ground-mount panel installations for these two facilities by factoring in the water tank weight constraints. City officials can track the two installations' energy production and consumption around the clock with SolarCity's proprietary PowerGuide™ monitoring service, which is fully integrated with the city's own centralized monitoring system.
"The City of Sacramento's continuing commitment to renewable energy has played a key role in helping the state of California maintain its leadership as the top solar energy producer in the nation," said Dennis Cox, SolarCity's regional vice president in the Central Valley. "SolarCity's Sacramento operations center currently employs more than 150 people locally, due in part to the City of Sacramento's environmental and economic stewardship."
The two water treatment plants' solar systems, totaling 1.5 megawatts, boost the City of Sacramento's total solar capacity by 80 percent. SolarCity previously installed solar power at four other key municipal sites: the City Hall, the Police Department, the Meadowview Service Center and the South Corporation Yard.