SunPower lights up new solar facility in Riverside, California

With a new 7.5-MW solar farm located on the city’s former Tequesquite Landfill now operational, the city of Riverside in California has total solar generation that has soared past the 20-MW mark – five years ahead of schedule.

“Riverside reaching the 20-megawatt milestone is especially impressive because it was not too long ago that one megawatt was an ambitious goal,” Mayor Rusty Bailey said in a Sept. 14 statement. “The fact that we are reaching 20 megawatts five years ahead of schedule speaks volumes about our commitment to green energy and sustainability.”

Formed in 2005, the city’s Clean & Green Task Force, made up of local leaders and city personnel, looked for ways to improve the city’s appearance while making city practices more sustainable and improving air quality. Among the goals the task force recommended was to install at least 20 MW of solar energy generation within the city by 2020.

The new 7.5-MW Tequesquite Landfill solar farm, created in partnership with Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) and SunPower (Nasdaq: SPWR) helped the city reach, and surpass that 20-MW goal. Ths first project for the city was a carport shade system at the Utilities Operation Center constructed in 2001.

“We commend the City of Riverside for its leading commitment to solar, including this very significant 7-megawatt power plant, which takes good advantage of an otherwise underutilized former landfill site,” said Howard Wenger, SunPower president, business units. “Solar is mainstream and cost-competitive with traditional energy sources today, and can help fiscally responsible agencies reduce electricity costs to better serve their constituencies.”

The Tequesquite Landfill projedt is powered by SunPower solar panels. SunPower built the system as part of a 25-year power purchase agreement under which Riverside Public Utilities will buy the power generated by the plant at rates that are competitive with retail electricity, minimizing the effect of rising electricity costs. The system is owned by 8Point3 Energy Partners LP (Nasdaq: CAFD), the YieldCo joint venture formed by SunPower and First Solar. The City of Riverside is retaining the renewable energy credits associated with the system.

Established in 1895, Riverside Public Utilities is a consumer-owned water and electric utility governed by a board of nine community volunteers that provides high quality, reliable services to over 107,000 metered electric customers and up to 65,000 metered water customers throughout the City of Riverside.

SunPower designs, manufactures and delivers the highest efficiency, highest reliability solar panels and systems available today. Residential, business, government and utility customers rely on SunPower’s 30 years of experience and guaranteed performance to provide maximum return on investment throughout the life of the solar system. Headquartered in San Jose, Calif., SunPower has offices in North and South America, Europe, Australia, Africa and Asia.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.