SOLON Corporation, one of the largest providers of turnkey solar power plants and photovoltaic (PV) products in the U.S., announced it has begun construction on a 460 kilowatt (kW) photovoltaic (PV) system for the Town of Gila Bend’s Reverse Osmosis (RO) Water Treatment Facility in Arizona.
SOLON will engineer, design, construct and commission the fixed-tilt system, expected to be completed later this year. As a full-service system provider, SOLON will continue to operate and maintain the system on behalf of the town once it is operational.
The project development and system ownership is being financed through a State of Arizona grant – part of the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority (WIFA) grant awarded to the Town of Gila Bend for drinking water infrastructure improvements. Once completed, the system is expected to provide an 86% energy usage offset to the town’s RO Water Treatment Facility, resulting in significant annual electricity cost savings.
“Energy costs associated with operating a water treatment facility can account for a large portion of its total operating budget. These facilities also tend to have surrounding areas of land that are otherwise unusable,” said Jared Schoch, Vice President and General Manager, Power Plants for SOLON Corporation. “SOLON’s proven experience building systems for water and wastewater treatment facilities combined with solar being an extremely efficient use of land is a winning combination and a great way to lower a facility’s operating costs.”
“This project further exemplifies Gila Bend’s continued leadership in the emerging solar industry. Already a world leader in utility scale solar, Gila Bend continues its innovative policy making by extending its efforts to distributive energy,” said Fredrick Buss, Town Manager for Gila Bend. “Through highly qualified partners like SOLON, this project will not only enable the town to provide clean, renewable solar energy, it will also enable the town and its customers to save money on electricity costs, thereby significantly reducing the need to adjust water rates. This is a big win for our community.”
In October 2011, SOLON completed a 21 MW single-axis tracking system in Gila Bend.