San Juan Water District Goes Solar

Joanna Schroeder

San Juan Water District (SJWD) is now powered by solar energy. The solar panels will now supply up to 90 percent of the electricity consumed by the water treatment plant, administration buildings and booster pump station. The district estimates that the solar panels will save them $12 million in energy costs over the 25-year life of the system. SunPower designed and built the solar power system on nearly 4 acres of District-owned land and the panels were mounted on the SunPower to Tracker system which rotates the panels to follow the sun during the day.

“San Juan always looks for programs that benefit our customers,” said Ted Costa, San Juan Water District board president. “This project will allow the district to minimize the long-term impacts on ratepayers from rising energy costs. When we have the opportunity to help the environment and improve our bottom line, that’s a win/win.”

To help offset the costs of the solar panels, the district received a California Solar Initiative rebate from PG&E that will cover almost 40 percent of the construction costs. SunPower says the balance will be recovered through energy costs saving over the next nine years. In addition, using EPA figures, they almost estimate the CO2 reductions will be similar to removing 3,525 cars off of California roads over the next 25 years.

“With SunPower systems operating at more than 20 water agencies, representing approximately 20 megawatts in total, our experience and ability to deliver guaranteed performance sets us apart,” said Jim Pape, president of SunPower’s residential and commercial business group. “We applaud SJWD’s decision to convert a small piece of underutilized land into an asset that generates clean, reliable solar power and significant savings. Solar power makes good sense today for public agencies and our environment.”

Electricity, Energy, Solar