Ciel & Terre announced completion of a new 252-kW floating photovoltaic power system for the Lake County Special Districts on behalf of Kelseyville County Waterworks Dist. #3 in partnership with local contractor North Coast Solar. Financed by a municipal lease, the Ciel & Terre Hydrelio solar power system is being floated on a man-made wastewater treatment pond in Kelseyville and is expected to produce up to 1,650 kWh in its first year.
This is the first public floating solar power system installed in California. The installation itself consists of 720 floating solar panels mounted together and delivering electrical power safely to shore using solar optimizers provided by SolarEdge to maximize inverter output. The municipal lease for the installation gives the county positive cash flow starting the first year, so no cash investment was required to pay for the system. Once the Kelseyville solar installation proves successful, the Lake County Special District is considering installing additional floating solar power systems around the county.
“We are excited to be able to take advantage of clean energy using Ciel & Terre’s floating solar systems,” said Jan Coppinger, special districts administrator for Lake County. “We didn’t have available land or rooftop space suitable for this project, but our wastewater treatment pond had enough surface area to accommodate a sizable solar system. Floating is a great way to control algae growth in the pond at the same time we generate virtually free energy. All costs to provide utilities continue to increase, which forces Special Districts to seek out and implement any means possible to reduce future costs. This floating solar system will result in significant savings in future years.”
Floating solar is an ideal solution for any utility district since it generates clean energy at the same time it provides other water conservation benefits. Floating a solar array on man-made bodies of water improves energy production by keeping the solar system cooler. At the same time it reduces evaporation, controls algae growth and reduces water movement to minimize bank erosion. It also makes optimal use of pond surfaces, providing clean solar energy without committing expensive real estate or requiring rooftop installations.
“Municipal water districts, wineries, farms, and others want to adopt solar but they don’t want to commit land that could be used for other purposes,” said Eva Pauly-Bowles, representative director for Ciel & Terre USA. “Installing floating solar systems gives them ready access to green energy while helping them manage their water resources. We expect we will see more demand for floating solar systems, especially in light of California’s commitment to produce only carbon-free electricity by 2045.”
The Kelseyville project is only one of four floating solar power installations being completed this summer using the patented Ciel & Terre Hydrelio system in Q3 2018 delivering 5.3 MW.
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