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SunPower will design and construct a 1-megawatt solar power system at the Yolo County Justice Center in Woodland, California. Yolo County, which will own the system and associated renewable energy credits, is financing the purchase using multiple funding sources, including clean renewable energy bonds and qualified energy conservation bonds available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
In addition to the subsidized bonds, which were financed by Bank of America, SunPower assisted the county in securing a 15-year loan from the California Energy Commission.
“With the funding we secured as a result of the federal stimulus bill and the California Energy Commission loan, Yolo County has no out-of-pocket expenses to build the project, and will be net cash flow positive from the first day of the system’s operation, expected to be later this year,” said Yolo County General Services Director Ray Groom. “We estimate that savings over the next 25 years will be about $8.8 million, directly benefiting Yolo County residents and businesses. State and federal funding has helped make solar power an easy, affordable means to reduce county operational costs as well as our dependence on fossil fuels.”
“We believe this is the first solar project to make use of the federal stimulus legislation’s clean energy renewable bonds, established last year, and among the first large-scale solar projects to be funded by a California Energy Commission loan. Yolo County is using the federal and state funding to save money, create jobs and produce clean energy for years to come,” said Bill Kelly, managing director at SunPower. “We are thrilled to be supporting the county with the implementation of SunPower’s proven, high performing technology, ensuring impressive savings for years to come.”
The solar power system, which is expected to be complete by September, will utilize SunPower solar panels, the most efficient solar panels on the market, with the SunPower Tracker system. The Tracker follows 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.
According to conversion formulas provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Yolo County’s system is expected to avoid more than 2.2 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year, equivalent to the emissions displaced from removing over 5,700 cars from California’s roads over the 30-year life of the system.
With this project, Bank of America adds Yolo County to its growing list of clients, especially California governmental and educational entities, that it has helped benefit from various state and federal government solar tax incentives. Bank of America focuses on projects like this as part of its $20 billion, 10-year initiative to address global climate change.
“We congratulate Yolo County for taking this step toward increasing its reliance on renewable energy while also improving its fiscal efficiency,” said John Rudberg, Energy Services sales executive for Banc of America Public Capital Corp. “This is a great example of the type of energy projects our national and state governments are encouraging through tax policies. Bank of America is pleased to be a leader in working with energy services providers such as SunPower to help local governments improve our environment while saving local tax dollars.”
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