Escondido, CA.—July 14, 2008—enXco - an EDF Energies Nouvelles Company, unveiled a 1.2 megawatt (dc) solar photovoltaic array near Sacramento, California today. enXco developed and built the photovoltaic (PV) system for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD). enXco will sell the energy under a long-term contract to SMUD, who will deliver the electricity to customers signed up in the SolarShares Program.
This customer-driven PV system is the first of its kind and the nation's largest solar plant built to serve customers enrolled in a voluntary green pricing program. It is also one of the largest ground-mounted PV systems installed in the United States, using some 17,000 solar panels and 2,300 poles over 8.5 acres. All of the system panels and components were made in the US. The array is built on the grounds of the Nilsen Turkey Farm in Wilton, California.
The system is expected to generate enough electricity to power approximately 600 homes. Already customers are clamoring to get their "share" of the system. Though it has not yet been widely publicized, the utility has gotten hundreds of calls from interested customers. Customers can also "take" their solar block with them, if they move within the electric service territory.
The project allows SMUD to offer long-term fixed rates for solar to all of its customers: residential, low-income and businesses. Prices for residential customers are expected to range between $5 and $30 per month, based on the solar allocation a customer chooses.
enXco was awarded the contract to construct, own and operate the system based on their project development expertise, economic competitiveness, and ability to deliver the project, after SMUD evaluated over 25 bids from leading US solar developers. enXco will provide the energy on a 20-year power purchase agreement to SMUD, who in turn will supply the solar to customers enrolled in their voluntary SolarShares program.
This partnership between utility and developer enables all customers to be "virtual solar owners", and to act on their desire for energy independence. It makes solar electricity affordable for all customer classes and knocks down installation cost barriers. Renters, businesses and occupants of multi-unit buildings can participate, as can customers who cannot install PV because of site, installation or building ownership issues.
"We are thrilled to partner with SMUD to offer clean, renewable solar power to all of its customer classes. We look forward to increasing the system size in proportion to customer demand as more customers learn about and join in on this exciting and innovative people-driven solar power plant", said Mark Tholke, enXco Regional Development Manager.
enXco, Inc. (www.enxco.com) an EDF-EN Company (www.edf-energies.nouvelles.com) develops, constructs, operates and manages renewable energy projects throughout the United States. For more than two decades, we have been a leader in wind-energy focusing on large-scale wind projects. Today enXco's portfolio includes solar and biomass technologies, in an effort to help drive our nation's transition to a sustainable energy economy. enXco is a significant owner and developer of wind-energy installations in the United States, and is the largest third-party operations & maintenance provider for wind farms in North America.
As the nation's sixth-largest publicly owned utility, SMUD has been providing low-cost, reliable electricity for over 60 years to Sacramento County (and a small portion of Placer County). SMUD is a recognized industry leader and award winner for its innovative energy efficiency programs, renewable power technologies, and for its sustainable solutions for a healthier environment.