Santa Barbara flips switch on city’s first large-scale solar power plant


Santa Barbara has activated its first large-scale, municipal solar power plant. The system, a 384-KW set of arrays built on six of the Southern California city’s Corporate Yard rooftops, was installed by Suntech Energy Solutions during the fall of 2008 and is financed and operated by Tioga Energy.

Through its SurePath power purchase agreement, Tioga Energy sells the energy generated by the system to the city at a fixed, predictable price over the 20-year contract term. In addition to a minimal upfront capital outlay, the city receives immediate energy savings and a hedge against future utility rate increases, without the hassle of owning the system outright, the partners said.

The system, which incorporates 1830 Suntech 210 PV modules, will produce 550,000 KW-hr of energy per year, effectively offsetting 191 metric tons of carbon dioxide. This is equivalent to the power that would be needed for more than 100 Santa Barbara-area homes on an annual basis.

“This first system is a first step in reducing our energy costs and producing clean, renewable energy. We look forward to ‘throwing the switch’ on more projects in the years to come,” said  Marty Blum, mayor of Santa Barbara.

This article requires Premium SubscriptionBasic (FREE) Subscription

Unlock unlimited access for 12 whole months of distinctive global analysis

Photovoltaics International is now included.

  • Regular insight and analysis of the industry’s biggest developments
  • In-depth interviews with the industry’s leading figures
  • Unlimited digital access to the PV Tech Power journal catalogue
  • Unlimited digital access to the Photovoltaics International journal catalogue
  • Access to more than 1,000 technical papers
  • Discounts on Solar Media’s portfolio of events, in-person and virtual

Or continue reading this article for free

Read Next

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
February 28, 2024
Seattle, USA
Solar Media Events, Industry Events
March 12, 2024
Frankfurt, Germany
Upcoming Webinars
March 13, 2024
9am EDT / 1pm GMT / 2pm CET
Solar Media Events
March 19, 2024
Texas, USA