Distributed Generation, Solar, Sourcing Renewables - March 4, 2021
City of Healdsburg completes largest U.S. floating solar farm
The City of Healdsburg, California announced on March 3 that it has completed a floating solar project, the largest completed in the United States to date. The project will deliver clean energy to the city under a 25-year power purchase agreement, meeting about 8% of its total energy demand. This is an important part of its plan to reach 60% renewable energy before 2030.
The 4.78-MW project sited on ponds at the city's wastewater treatment plant was completed by White Pine Renewables, Noria Energy, and Collins Electrical Company. Siting the solar panels on the ponds avoids using land for the project and will reduce evaporation and algae growth, benefitting the surrounding vineyards that rely on the treated water for irrigation.
Terry Crowley, Utility Director for the City of Healdsburg, described the project as "a cornerstone of the city's long-term plan to save money on energy costs and provide city electric customers with 60% renewable energy," in a statement.
While still a small portion of the overall solar market, floating PV is becoming increasingly popular because of its dual land use purpose and generally higher energy production due to the cooling effects of water and wind.