Two Large Solar Projects Completed


Last week, two large solar system installations in different locations were completed. Hopefully more companies will follow suit and get their facilities running on solar energy as well.

Let’s take a look at the two recently-completed solar systems.

First we have an 800 kW power plant installed by Pacific Power Management for Sierra Aluminum Co in Fontana, California. This was constructed under a power purchase agreement where the client, such as Sierra Aluminum, installs a power plant and then buys solar energy from PPM, with no capital investment needed.

The Sierra Aluminum solar plant is made up of two Satcon 50 kW inverters and 4,488 Mitsubishi Electric 180W modules. It will be monitored by PPM’s SolarWatch, which can be accessed online for real-time production measurement.

The second solar project is for the Mannheim DRIVE Center in Stockbridge, Georgia. This was installed by Solar Power Inc. and is said to be the largest commercial photovoltaic system in the state. The company reported that it completed the installation last Monday. This is the second project the company has completed for Cox Enterprises Inc, the owners of the DRIVE Center.

The DRIVE Center installation has 560 200-watt roof-mounted solar power arrays, which cover an area of 10,000 square feet. This is enough to power the DRIVE Center, which is a 165,000 square-foot auction and sales area, that processes and sells around 1,100 vehicles a day via video and live auctions.

Solar Power Inc. has been in business since 2005 and it works with its clients to obtain the necessary permits and manage solar power systems for small and medium scale businesses. The company makes or obtains all parts needed for the system.

Also in the news on solar power, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is asking for the approval of the Board of Supervisors, for the installation of a 5-megawatt solar power plant on top of the Sunset Reservoir. The project is expected to become California’s largest solar power system, once it’s completed in 2010. This will triple the amount of solar energy that can be generated within San Francisco.

The utility will use solar energy to power up streetlights, public schools, and the San Francisco General Hospital. It can also be utilized for the energy requirements of Hunters Point, Treasure Island, and other neighboring communities. The project will make a big impact on San Francisco’s green economy. It will not just generate energy, but at least 71 jobs as well.

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