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Central Contra Costa Sanitary District partners with REC Solar to add 2.16 MW of onsite solar

The onsite solar installations will generate nearly $6 million in net utility bill savings

MARTINEZ, Calif., June 20, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Central Contra Costa Sanitary District (Central San) and nationwide solar provider REC Solar announce the completion of a 2.16 megawatt (MW) solar array near Central San's treatment plant in Martinez, Calif.

By harnessing the power of the sun, the array will generate clean, renewable energy and help offset most of the annual grid demand of Central San's treatment plant and major pumping stations.

The solar array will also help the wastewater utility eliminate 1,865 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, equivalent to removing 444 gasoline-powered vehicles from the roads each year.         

This milestone marks a significant achievement for Central San as it continues to reach its economic and environmental stewardship goals.

"This project is a win-win," said Central San Resource Recovery Program Manager Melody LaBella. "It will achieve substantial savings for Central San's ratepayers, while also reducing our climate footprint and furthering our mission to protect the environment."

One of Central San's key objectives, identified in its Comprehensive Wastewater Management Plan, is to optimize energy production and use while minimizing greenhouse gas emissions.

Central San hired ARC Alternatives to explore avenues for expanding its solar photovoltaic (PV) footprint and identify energy efficiency opportunities at its facilities. This would, in part, help Central San facilitate saving opportunities for the District and its customers.

REC Solar designed, engineered, procured and constructed the 2.16 MW ground mount solar array on a repurposed portion of a 48-acre buffer property near Central San's Martinez wastewater treatment plant.

Central San and REC Solar also worked closely with the existing tenant and the surrounding community to ensure the low-impact solar project had minimal disruption to the land and was not visible to the neighboring residents. The low-profile, fixed-tilt ground mount array was designed to be optimal in both production and cost.

"We're thrilled to have collaborated and partnered with Central San and ARC Alternatives on a solar project that is helping the District reach both its economic and sustainability goals," said REC Solar CEO Robb Jetty. "This project is a clear example of how solar -- particularly when financed as a power purchase agreement -- can deliver real value to organizations and the surrounding communities, and we look forward to continuing to see the impact this project will have in the future."  

The project was financed as a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), allowing Central San to shift the project from a costly capital expense to a predictable monthly payment with no price escalation. As part of the agreement, REC Solar will continue to operate and maintain the solar array over the life of the PPA.

The array is estimated to generate nearly $6 million in net electricity bill savings for Central San and its ratepayers over the next 25 years.

"We've contracted with an experienced solar vendor to design, construct, own, operate and maintain the array?all at a fixed cost to Central San," LaBella said. "We're excited to flip the switch on a project that will provide ongoing benefit for Central San, our customers, and the environment."

About REC Solar

Founded in 1997, REC Solar has emerged as one of the nation's leading solar energy integrators. Renowned for its integrity and high-quality standards, REC Solar's portfolio includes solar and energy storage projects for top U.S. commercial enterprises, including manufacturers, retailers, schools, universities, municipal entities and more. REC Solar's customers enjoy a seamless end-to-end experience that includes zero-upfront-cost financing and predictable monthly payments as well as long-term and worry-free development, ownership, operation and maintenance of solar and storage projects. With decades of experience embedded in every project, REC Solar is committed to providing every customer with the same integrity and high-quality solutions and services that have made it a trusted solar company for the past 25+ years. Learn more about REC Solar at recsolar.com.

About Central San

Central San's mission is to protect public health and the environment through safe and effective wastewater collection, cleaning, and disposal. It also operates a Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility, provides recycled water for landscape irrigation, and promotes pollution prevention through various educational, informational, and inspection programs. Central San serves nearly 500,000 residents and over 15,000 businesses over 146 square miles in the central Contra Costa County area.


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