TUCSON, Ariz. and SAN JOSE, Calif., April 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The City of Tucson, Ariz., Tucson Water Department, Trico Electric and SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWRA, SPWRB) today dedicated a 1-megawatt, ground-mounted solar power system, which doubles the solar power system capacity hosted by the city. The system was designed and built by SunPower on city-owned, former agricultural land located within Tucson Water Department's underground water storage and recovery facility, approximately 20 miles west of downtown Tucson.
"With these systems, Tucson is reinforcing its commitment to energy conservation, waste reduction and environmental protection. SunPower's technology will ensure that the system delivers energy in a cost effective manner that benefits the community," stated Interim Director of Tucson Water Andrew Quigley.
The City of Tucson financed the system through a power purchase agreement with SunPower. Under the terms of the agreement, Wells Fargo owns the system that SunPower designed, built, operates, and maintains. Trico Electric, the utility serving the site, provided additional funding via its SunWatts renewable energy incentive program. The city is hosting the system and buying the electricity produced by it. Trico Electric Cooperative will purchase the renewable energy credits (RECs) associated with the system. The city's cost for the energy will be competitive with its current bulk retail rate, with no initial capital investment.
"This system will reliably produce clean energy for years to come," said Jim Pape, president of SunPower's residential and commercial business group. "Tucson is leading the way in Arizona by seizing this opportunity to help meet the state's growing energy demand and renewable energy goals."
On the 10-acre site, SunPower installed a SunPower Tracker® system. The Tracker positions solar panels to follow the sun's movement during the day, increasing sunlight capture by up to 25 percent over conventional fixed-tilt systems, while significantly reducing land use requirements.
The project site is part of the city's Central Avra Valley Storage and Recovery Project (CAVSARP), a short and long-term water storage and recovery operation, utilizing water from the Central Arizona Project aqueduct and providing city residents with a renewable source of potable water.
About Tucson Water
Tucson Water is an enterprise fund of the City of Tucson. The utility operates in a manner similar to a private business, covering all costs of doing business with revenues from operations and other water-related funding sources (bonds, property sales, etc). Tucson Water's Fiscal Year 2011 annual budget is $138.8 million.
The utility provides water service to nearly 225,000 customer connections representing approximately 775,000 people (around 80% of the greater Tucson metropolitan area's total population) within a 350 square-mile service area. About 1/3rd of the utility's customers reside outside the City limits. Residential accounts (single family, multi-family and duplex/triplex) make up close to 93% of all potable metered connections.
Trico Electric Cooperative, Inc., is a non-profit electric cooperative serving nearly 40,000 customers in northwest Tucson, Marana, Mt. Lemmon, Corona de Tucson, Sahuarita, Green Valley, Three Points and Arivaca.
Formed in 1945, Trico is a proud Touchstone Energy® Cooperative. Trico is headquartered at 8600 W. Tangerine Rd. in Marana, Ariz.
SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWRA, SPWRB) designs, manufactures and delivers the highest efficiency, highest reliability solar panels and systems available today. Residential, business, government and utility customers rely on the company's quarter century of experience and guaranteed performance to provide maximum return on investment throughout the life of the solar system. Headquartered in San Jose, Calif., SunPower has offices in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. For more information, visit www.sunpowercorp.com.
SunPower is a registered trademark of SunPower Corp. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
SOURCE SunPower Corp.