Largest Floating Solar Power System Construction Begins in California

The Town of Windsor and Ciel & Terre officials have recently announced the start of the construction of the largest floating solar array in California. The floating solar power system will be situated on the Town’s biggest recycled water storage pond. It is also anticipated to satisfy 90 percent of the Town’s water treatment and pump facilities’ requirements.

Renewable Energy World reported on its website that the Ciel & Terre solar installation will be made up of 4,959 (360 watts) high-output solar panels which are installed on top of the firm’s Hydrelio floating solar racking system. The company finances the development and construction of the said floating solar project.

The system will deliver around 90 percent of the Windsor Wastewater Reclamation Facility’s needed power while cutting approximately 30 percent of the electricity cost according to the present grid service of the facility.

The project is under a 25-year lease and Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between Ciel & Terre and the Town of Windsor and is expected to provide clean energy on a discount. It will enable the Town to manage its electricity costs amidst the rising costs of utilities.

The Representative Director for Ciel & Terre USA, Inc., Eva Pauly-Bowles, stated, “By entering into a PPA, the Town can substantially reduce its energy overhead without any investment. Floating solar is becoming an attractive energy alternative for municipalities seeking to reduce operating costs and preserve valuable land for other developments.”

Meanwhile, the Town of Windsor Public Works Director Toni Bertolero said, “Our water reclamation and corporation yard facilities currently account for 40 percent of the Town’s greenhouse gas emissions. The installation of this new floating solar array will reduce our reliance on energy-polluting sources by estimated metric tons of CO2 per year, a significant step to achieving our Climate Action Plan emission reduction goals.”

The floating solar array reportedly will cover only 22 percent of the pond’s water surface area. It will not affect the biology of the pond and is expected to lessen water loss from evaporation and suppress algae growth.

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