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Solar Roundup: REC Solar at Calif. Farms; Panasonic Builds North American Solar Business; Solon Solar at Water Treatment Facility

Linda Hardesty

REC Solar has completed solar energy systems for two California farms totaling 1 MW of electricity: Peter Rabbit Farms in Coachella and Amaral Ranches in the Imperial Valley.

Peter Rabbit Farms installed a 358 kW solar system that provides enough power to offset 40 percent of its energy use and save an estimated $80,000 off its yearly utility bills.

REC Solar also worked with Amaral Ranches to install a 605 kW system that provides enough power to offset over 70 percent of Amaral Ranches’ growing and cold storage operations. The project was financed by Rabobank, a community bank that provides solar financing to California farms, businesses and public organizations. With the solar array, Amaral Ranches takes advantage of its relatively dormant summer season to sell power back to the utility to offset costs during the more energy-intensive harvest and planting seasons.

Panasonic Eco Solutions North America has signed a multi-year solar photovoltaic (PV) solutions development agreement with Coronal Management to bring comprehensive solar PV projects from 250 kW up to 20 MW to the commercial, industrial, municipal, and small utility sectors. Together, the two companies aim to develop, build and operate a portfolio of solar PV systems in the United States and Puerto Rico.

The Panasonic and Coronal offering includes financing, development, engineering, procurement and construction, as well as operations and maintenance for the life-cycle of its installed solar systems. Coronal Management brings over 80 years of experience in investment and asset management, as well as experience in solar PV project development and financing.

Turnkey solar power plant provider Solon Corporation has completed construction of a 459 kW PV system at the Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Facility for the Town of Gila Bend, Ariz. The system is expected to offset the energy usage of the water treatment facility by 86 percent, which will save money for the Town of Gila Bend through reduced utility bills. The town selected its water treatment facility for solar because it had the largest electric draw of any town-owned facility.

The project development and system ownership was financed through a State of Arizona Water Infrastructure Finance Authority grant awarded to Gila Bend for drinking water infrastructure improvements. Solon engineered, designed, constructed, and commissioned the fixed-tilt system, and Solon will continue to operate and maintain the system on behalf of Gila Bend.



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