Auburn’s Wastewater Treatment Plant to be 100% Solar Powered

Auburn’s Wastewater Treatment Plant to be 100% Solar Powered

Pacific Power Renewables, INC and the City of Auburn announced today that the city’s waste water treatment plant is going to be 100 percent powered by solar energy starting this summer. A 680 kilowatt solar photovoltaic (PV) system, to be installed by PPM of Auburn, California, will supply all of the plant’s electrical needs.

The new photovoltaic system will consist of more than 3,300 panels that will be installed on single-axis ground mount trackers at the plant. The city entered into a 20 year contract and will buy power from PPR, as if PPR were a utility company. The city won’t pay for the installation of the panels.

“The City of Auburn took advantage of Pacific Power’s shared savings program to build and host an emission-free solar power plant at their facility with no upfront capital expenditure,” said Kelly McMahon, Vice President of Business Development for PPR. “We applaud the City of Auburn for taking the lead with this showcase installation that demonstrates how solar makes good financial sense for public agencies today.”

The city treatment plant is located west of the city of Auburn in the Ophir area. The solar array system will generate an estimated 1,248,821 kWh of clean solar energy in the first year of operation. That is enough energy to power 112 homes for one year. Over 20 years, the system will generate more than 24 million kWh of energy; enough energy to power over 2,240 average US homes for one year.

Jack Warren, Director of Public Works, said ‘the project will be one of the largest solar facilities in the area and should save the city money.” Warren added, “I think we got a really good contract for the city, I think it was worth everybody’s time and effort to go through the negotiation process.”

The council was unanimously in favor of the agreement and thanked staff for their hard work. Councilman Kevin Hanley said he couldn’t see a downside. “I think it’s a triple win for the city, the tax payer, the environment and the local contractor.”

Related Links: