District marks completion of Santa Maria solar project
By Karen Brainard
The completion of Ramona Municipal Water District’s solar photovoltaic project for the Santa Maria Wastewater Reclamation Plant, estimated to save nearly $500,000 in energy costs over 20 years, was celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday morning.
District directors held a special meeting at 9 a.m. at the Santa Maria plant to mark the occasion with district staff and representatives from Enfinity America Corporation and Siliken.
The 530-kilowatt peak solar energy installation was developed and financed by Enfinity, and solar panels were provided by Siliken, the project’s co-developer.
The fixed-tilt project uses 2,156 Siliken panels with an annual energy output of 918,000
kilowatt hours (kWh) that will be used to operate the plant. It was developed through a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) of the district, Enfinity, and Siliken. Under the PPA, the water district did not have to pay for construction but will purchase all electricity generated by the solar project.
Now that the project is completed, RMWD is due to receive a refund of the $15,000 it paid California Center for Sustainable Energy to reserve a solar rebate that was used to construct the project.
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