SunPower Solar Systems Planned for Two California Water Agencies

SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWRA, SPWRB) today announced that it is building solar power systems for the Fallbrook Public Utilities District (FPUD) in San Diego County and the San Juan Water District (SJWD) in Placer County. Both systems are using high efficiency SunPower technology to maximize solar power generated on site, and are expected to be operational in the first half of 2011.  

The purchase of the system for FPUD will be financed using low-interest Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECBs) available as a result of the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). At the 8-acre site, SunPower is designing and building a 1.1-megawatt ground-mounted solar power system using SunPower solar panels, the most efficient solar panels on the market, with SunPower™ T20 Trackers. The trackers rotate the panels to follow the sun, increasing energy capture by up to 30 percent over conventional fixed-tilt systems, while significantly reducing land use requirements.

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California Licenses World’s Biggest Solar Thermal Plant

California regulators have licensed what is for the moment the world’s largest solar thermal power plant, a 1,000-megawatt complex called the Blythe Solar Power Project to be built in the Mojave Desert.

By contrast, a total of 481 megawatts of new solar capacity was installed in the United States last year, mostly from thousands of rooftop solar arrays, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association, a trade group.

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ENERGY: Agencies seek to contain water and energy costs together

Under the lash of rising costs —- which consumers will ultimately pay —- some of the biggest names in the state’s electricity and water industries met Thursday at the Los Angeles headquarters of the Metropolitan Water District, Southern California’s main water wholesaler, to share information about conservation and technology.

They were brought together by the Water Research Foundation, which helps local water utilities get a handle on issues such as climate change that would be hard to study separately. Those presenting included Southern California Edison, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and Metropolitan.

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