Ciel & Terre USA has completed a 252 kW floating solar PV system for the Lake County (California) Special Districts.
The project was completed 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 floating on a man-made wastewater treatment pond in Kelseyville and is expected to produce up to 1,650 kWh/kWp in its first year.
Notably, according to Ciel & Terre, this is the first public floating solar power system installed in California. The installation itself consists of 720 floating solar panels mounted together to deliver electrical power to shore by using solar optimizers provided by SolarEdge to maximize inverter output.
The municipal lease for the installation gives the county positive cash flow starting in the first year, so no cash investment was required to pay for the system, the developer notes. If the project 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,” says 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.”
“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,” says Eva Pauly-Bowles, representative director for Ciel & Terre USA Inc. “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.”