Town of Windsor and Ciel & Terre Start Construction on California’s Largest Floating Solar System
Windsor, California – The Town of Windsor and Ciel & Terre, a Petaluma-based innovative floating solar company, have started construction of what will be the largest floating solar power system in the state of California. Installation of the 1.8-megawatt “floatovoltaic” system will fulfill 90 percent of energy needs for Windsor’s water reclamation facilities by using sustainable solar power. The floating solar array will be installed by Ciel & Terre working with local union contractor, Collins Electrical Company, on the Town’s largest recycled water Pond 7.
The solar installation will consist of 4,959 (360W) high-output solar panels mounted atop a floating solar racking system. The solar power system will generate power for the Windsor Wastewater Reclamation Facility, Public Works Corporation Yard and the Geysers pump station, delivering approximately 90 percent of the water reclamation facilities’ power requirements while saving about 30 percent of the electricity cost based on the facilities’ existing grid service. “Our water reclamation and corporation yard facilities currently account for 40 percent of the Town’s greenhouse gas emissions,” said Toni Bertolero, Town of Windsor Public Works Director. “Installation of this new floating solar array will reduce our reliance on energy-polluting sources by an estimated 350 metric tons of CO2 per year, a significant step to achieve our Climate Action Plan emission reduction goals.”
The project is being developed and construction financed by Ciel & Terre, which has entered into a 25-year lease and power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Town of Windsor to provide discounted clean energy.
The floating solar system will allow Windsor to better control its electrical costs in the face of rising utility prices. “By entering into a PPA, the Town can substantially reduce its energy overhead without any investment,” said Eva Pauly-Bowles, Representative Director for Ciel & Terre USA, Inc. “Floating solar is becoming an attractive energy alternative for municipalities seeking to reduce operating costs and preserve valuable land for other developments.”
The floating solar project will cover approximately 4 acres or 22 percent of the pond water surface area. It will have no adverse impacts on pond biology and will reduce water loss from evaporation and inhibit algae growth. The state-of-the-art floating solar design can be expanded for extra capacity and will not affect water reclamation facilities operations while it is being installed.
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