SACRAMENTO and ROSEVILLE, Calif., June 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Aerojet, a GenCorp (NYSE: GY) company, Solar Power, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: SOPW) and SMUD announced today that the companies have completed a 2.4 megawatt (MW) expansion of the existing 3.6 MW solar system at Aerojet's Sacramento, Calif. facility. The site is located within the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) and has now increased its total capacity to 6MW, making it the largest single-site industrial photovoltaic solar electric generating facility in California and one of the largest in the country. The installation of this array was made possible through the public-private partnership that was created by Aerojet, SMUD, Solar Power, Inc. and the EPA last year.
The solar array at Aerojet is a ground-mounted system utilizing a single-axis tracking system that follows the sun's course throughout the day to maximize electricity production. The 6MW system utilizes 22 tracking arrays and more than 29,000 of Solar Power, Inc.'s SPI 205 watt photovoltaic modules. Based on its performance characteristics, the SPI 205 watt module is currently ranked the number-one PV solar module in its class with the California Energy Commission.
All of the power generated by the 6MW system will be utilized by Aerojet operations. The electricity produced could power 30 percent of Aerojet's extensive groundwater treatment projects in the Sacramento region. "This initiative is a major step in Aerojet's efforts to help the environment, reduce its carbon footprint, and return approximately 40 acres of a Superfund site to beneficial use -- in essence, to turn it into an environmental asset," said Aerojet's Vice President of Sustainability, Ron Samborsky.
The local community benefits as well. The project replaces the need for nearly 10 GigaWatt hours of energy per year that would otherwise have been generated from fossil fuel resources. Additionally, solar technology is most efficient during peak energy use periods, i.e. hot summer afternoons. It is a valuable part of increasing the stability and reliability of the SMUD grid.
The Aerojet-Solar Power, Inc.-SMUD partnership directly responds to increased federal and state regulations concerning climate change and the associated need to provide reliable production of clean energy for our community. The 6 MW Aerojet array represents an approximate 30 percent increase in the solar portion of the SMUD renewable energy portfolio. "The key is how to address these challenges in a way that maintains quality of life, reliability and affordability," said John DiStasio, SMUD General Manager and CEO.
The Aerojet 6 MW-DC solar array will help SMUD conform to California state law (SB-1) mandating the implementation of solar PV systems that meet a state-wide goal of 125 MW by 2016 intended to lower the costs of solar PV. In addition, state law requires utilities to meet 20 percent of their electricity demand with renewable energy by 2010. SMUD is the first large utility in the state that is on track to meet the 20 percent renewable mark. "SMUD has taken a long view. We have made early investments in renewable resources that, combined with our hydroelectric resources, represent a substantial down payment on a low-carbon future," said DiStasio.
"We are very pleased to have completed this second phase of system construction," said Steve Kircher, chairman and CEO of Solar Power, Inc. "Aerojet, SMUD and the EPA have been wonderful to work with throughout the entire project. The entire 40-acre array is testimony to how the creative energies of public and private enterprises can be focused to achieve objectives that benefit not only the organizations involved, but an entire region both economically and environmentally."
During construction of the 40-acre array, approximately 200 skilled workers were employed to build the system and another 100 indirect jobs were created to support construction activities. Environmental benefits of the array are significant. During its first year of use, the Aerojet system is expected to offset approximately 6,000 tons of carbon dioxide, 23.8 tons of sulfur dioxide and approximately 9.3 tons of nitrogen oxide that would have otherwise been produced using fossil fuel power production. The first-year net clean energy benefits equate to removing approximately 1,075 combustion engine vehicles from California's highways or the clean air benefits realized from planting 1,396,423 trees. With a system life expectancy of 25 years, the cumulative life-cycle environmental offsets for a system of this scope are significant.
About Solar Power, Inc.:
Founded in 2005, Solar Power, Inc. is a vertically integrated solar developer; the Company manages its value chain from material sourcing, to manufacturing, through post-installation asset management of its systems, and manufactures its own line of world-class solar modules and balance-of-system products. The Company designs, manufactures and delivers world-class photovoltaic solar systems to its residential, business, government and utility customers. For additional information, including a copy of our most recent investor presentation, please visit us at: www.solarpowerinc.net.
Safe Harbor Statement:
This release contains certain "forward-looking statements" relating to the business of Solar Power, Inc., its subsidiaries and the solar industry, which can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "believes, expects" or similar expressions. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release include statements regarding the Company's ability to execute its growth plan and meet revenue and sales estimates, enter into formal long-term supply agreements, and market acceptance of products and services. These statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties, including, but are not limited to, general business conditions, managing growth, and political and other business risk. All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by this Cautionary Statement and the risks and other factors detailed in the Company's reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required under applicable securities law.
Aerojet is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader principally serving the missile and space propulsion, defense and armaments markets. GenCorp is a leading technology-based manufacturer of aerospace and defense products and systems with a real estate segment that includes activities related to the entitlement, sale, and leasing of the company's excess real estate assets. Additional information about Aerojet and GenCorp can be obtained by visiting the companies' Web sites at http://www.Aerojet.com and http://www.GenCorp.com.
GenCorp Safe Harbor Statement:
This press release contains forward-looking statements based on current management expectations. Numerous factors, including those related to market conditions and those detailed from time to time in GenCorp's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, may cause results to differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements. Many of the factors that will determine GenCorp's future results are beyond the ability of GenCorp to control or predict. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties and, therefore, actual results may differ materially. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which reflect management's views only as of the date hereof. GenCorp undertakes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements, or to make any other forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
As the nation's sixth largest publicly owned utility, SMUD has been providing low-cost, reliable electricity for more than 60 years to Sacramento County (and a small portion of Placer County). SMUD is a recognized industry leader and award winner for its innovative energy efficiency programs, renewable power technologies, and for its sustainable solutions for a healthier environment. The utility is on track to become the first large California utility to receive 20 percent of its energy from renewable resources. For more information, visit smud.org.