Sonoma Clean Power in California hired Pristine Sun to install a 12.5 MW solar farm on floating docks atop treated sewage holding ponds operated by the Sonoma County Water Agency, reports The Press Democrat.
Pristine Sun will finance and build the project and lease the six ponds from the Water Agency for about $30,000 per year. The Water Agency has its own solar installations and will not use power generated from the project
One reason for building a solar installation over water is the high premium for agricultural land in Sonoma County.
The floating solar technology is gaining popularity in Japan and India. The largest floating solar installation in the world, in terms of output, is being developed on the Yamakura Dam reservoir in Japan.
The Sonoma floating solar project is slated to be complete in 2016. Sonoma Clean Power operates as the default power provider for most of the electricity customers in Sonoma county. Customers have the ability to opt out and switch back to PG&E, which still delivers the power and maintains the grid, reports The Press Democrat.