EI Solutions recently announced that it will begin constructing a 1.0 megawatt solar electricity system for The West County Wastewater District抯 (WCWD) main wastewater treatment plant in Richmond, CA later this year. The solar photovoltaic system is being funded and built under a Power Purchase Agreement with Solar Power Partners, Inc. who will own and operate the system while providing WCWD with clean energy at a fixed price.
The ground-mounted system will include state-of-the-art single-axis trackers that will be used to keep approximately 4000 solar panels focused on the sun throughout the day to maximize solar energy production. "The photovoltaic panels will produce approximately 30 percent of our facility抯 overall electrical power needs," said E.J. Shalaby, WCWD District Manager.
"The District is in the environmental business. We are always looking for ways to conserve our natural resources and our ratepayers?sewer use fees. This project is just another step in the use of alternative energy which allows us to do both," said Leonard Battaglia, WCWD Board President.
By displacing its utility power usage with clean solar power it is estimated that WCWD will substantially reduce its annual share of emissions by generating over 2 million kilowatt hours of clean electricity in the first year, while at the same time eliminating more than 3.4 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions and 897 pounds of nitrous oxide emissions annually. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, this is equivalent to removing 296 automobiles from operation, planting 360 acres of trees and powering 249 average homes.
WCWD抯 Board of Directors earlier this year approved the project that enabled the District to reserve 1.0 megawatt of photovoltaic electrical production through the Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) offered by Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E).
"We are very excited to be working with the West County Wastewater District and Solar Power Partners and applaud the effort to initiate a program to produce clean, renewable energy," said Andrew Beebe, president of EI Solutions, a San Rafael-based company.
"Integrating solar is consistent with the District抯 mission and we believe this initiative is a great example for other districts across the country."
"SPP is pleased to support the progressive efforts of WCWD, and are proud to count them as one of our customers," said Craig Hunt, Co- Founder and CEO of Solar Power Partners, Inc., of Mill Valley CA. "We are equally pleased to be teaming with EI Solutions on this exciting showcase project."
EI Solutions completed a 500kw ground-mounted solar project for the Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District in San Rafael in 2006. The company has constructed solar projects for a wide variety of public agencies and private companies, including the largest solar installation on a U.S. corporate campus, a 1.6 MW system on Google抯 Mountain View headquarters.