SunPower, Joint Venture Silicon Valley and Wells Fargo have teamed-up to construct three solar parking canopy systems for Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), totalling 2.1MW. Using a Power Purchase Agreement to finance the systems, it is anticipated that VTA will save US$2.7 million in electricity costs over the next 20 years.
VTA financed the system through a power purchase agreement with SunPower, who constructed the systems using 5,070 SunPower E19/425 high-efficiency solar panels, which will also provide shade and protection for VTA vehicles.
Under the terms of the agreement, Wells Fargo owns the systems that VTA is hosting and buying the electricity at prices that are competitive with retail rates, protected from rising electricity prices. VTA owns the renewable energy credits and environmental benefits associated with the system.
Two of the solar installations are located at the VTA's San Jose facilities, including a 548kW system at its Chaboya Division and a 969kW system at its Cerone Division. The third installation is a 637kW system at the VTA North Division facility in Mountain View.
“VTA will be saving taxpayer money on energy costs while investing in a future that will benefit us all,” said Santa Clara County supervisor and VTA chair Ken Yeager. “VTA is already combating global warming through the promotion of mass transit and congestion management. Now, we are reducing greenhouse gases through our operations, too.”
“The VTA solar project aligns with the City of San Jose's bold energy efficiency and renewable energy goals,” said San Jose mayor, Chuck Reed. “This type of project also creates jobs and utilizes technologies from local clean tech companies, like SunPower, that have helped make our region a national leader in green tech innovation.”
This project provides significant environmental benefits. The power derived from these solar panel systems will offset VTA's three bus maintenance divisions' electricity demand. The clean electricity generated by these systems will also offset more than 2,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year, which is equivalent to removing more than 9,000 cars from California's roads or planting 10,000 acres of trees over the next 20 years.