Another Water Treatment Plant Goes Solar

A solar power system is now providing 70% of Phoenix, Arizona’s Lake Pleasant Water Treatment Plant’s power.
The 7.5-megawatt solar energy system was constructed using nearly 23,000 SunPower solar panels.
The facility will generate approximately 15 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) each year and save the City of Phoenix nearly USD$4.2 million in electricity costs over the next 20 years.
The system has been financed through a solar services agreement with SunPower. Wells Fargo owns the system and the City is buying the electricity produced by it.
Like Australia, Arizona is blessed with substantial solar resources.
"With more than 300 days of sunshine each year, Phoenix is a natural for using solar power," said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. "The Lake Pleasant Water Treatment Plant project is the latest in a series of solar initiatives utilized at various city locations to increase the city’s commitment to sustainable energy development."
Other systems associated with the City’s operations are a 5.4MW array located at Sky Harbor and 100-kilowatt systems installed at the Phoenix Convention Center and the Burton Barr Central Library.
The Lake Pleasant system is expected to avoid the generation of more than 9,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually; equivalent to taking almost 35,800 cars off the road.
The plant produces nearly 57 billion litres of tap water each year. Sprawled over 285 acres, the facility has the capacity to service 400,000 homes.
Lake Pleasant’s installation isn’t the first water treatment plant solar array in the USA, but is one of the largest to date. 
In 2011, New Jersey American Water announced the completion of a floating solar array on a reservoir near its Canoe Brook Water Treatment Plant in Millburn.
Once a novelty, floating solar farms are becoming increasingly common.