City of Atwater, CA Breaks Ground on 1.1MW Solar Energy System

New Solar Power System Offsets City's Energy Use; Project Developed through Siemens Solar Power Purchase Agreement

City of Atwater, CA Breaks Ground on 1.1MW Solar Energy System


New Solar Power System Offsets City's Energy Use; Project Developed through Siemens Solar Power Purchase Agreement

ATWATER, CA, JULY 11, 2012 – Today the city of Atwater, CA —home to over 28,000 people— broke ground on a 1.1 megawatt solar power system adjacent to the city's new wastewater treatment plant. To be owned and operated by Siemens Industry, Inc., the new solar array will enable the city of Atwater to purchase electricity under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) at a fixed and discounted rate without any capital investment.

Like many communities in California that are struggling economically, Atwater sought creative solutions to help reduce energy costs associated with a new wastewater treatment plant. Under the PPA, Siemens procures, builds, owns, operates and maintains the system, and Atwater agrees to purchase the electricity generated by the solar array at a rate guaranteed for 20 years.

The solar array will use solar modules and tracking systems from Solaria, Inc., of Fremont, CA, that follow the sun across the sky to maximize energy capture. Installed on an unused former landfill site, the system will generate 2,221,738 kWh of clean renewable energy annually, and realize significant greenhouse gas emissions savings.

"We're pleased to have found a way to offset the higher electricity costs from our new wastewater treatment plant without a capital expenditure," said Atwater Mayor Joan Faul. "Not only will we save over $1 million during the life of the project, we are doing so in a way that advances Atwater's sustainability goals."

"By using solar energy to offset some demand from the new wastewater treatment plant, Atwater will be able to reduce its energy costs associated with the increased demand," said Lisa Reddinger, senior business development manager, Siemens Building Technologies Division, Energy & Environmental Solutions. "With a Siemens Solar PPA, there is no-up front capital investment, thus concerns of loan payments or defaults are mitigated, and budgeting for increases in electric costs becomes much easier for the city."

By leveraging a PPA and deploying clean, reliable solar power, the City of Atwater is helping the state of California achieve its ambitious renewable energy goals, while providing a safer, healthier environment for Atwater residents and neighboring communities.

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