EPA Administrator and Phoenix Dedicate 1.2-Megawatt SunPower Solar Power System

Jan. 8, 2014

Em,ployee Garage Solar PanelsThe EPA Administrator and the city of Phoenix today dedicated solar power panels that have been installed on two downtown parking garages. The 1.2-megawatt high-efficiency system was designed and built by SunPower Corp. and is expected to serve approximately 32 percent of electricity demand at the two garages.

“The city of Phoenix must continue to lead when it comes to solar energy,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “These new installations are a clear example of how we can grow more efficient and sustainable while saving taxpayer dollars.”

“Investments like we’re seeing in Phoenix help set a national model in how cities and municipalities can come together to cut carbon pollution, save taxpayer dollars, strengthen local economies, and still safeguard the local environment,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

“With the new solar arrays installed, Phoenix now has more than 15.25-megawatts of installed solar capacity at 26 facilities, which is the equivalent to powering more than 3,000 Valley homes,” said Vice Mayor Bill Gates, chairman of the City Council Finance, Efficiency, Economy and Sustainability (FECS) Subcommittee.

“Phoenix has an ambitious goal to meet its energy needs from renewable energy, and we are working hard to attract clean tech jobs,” said Councilwoman Kate Gallego, former chair of the city’s Environmental Quality Commission. “This system, in the heart of our city, shows Phoenix’s commitment to making solar energy a cornerstone of our future.”

"Public-private partnerships like this one work because they take a comprehensive approach to addressing issues important to our residents, including health, quality of life and the responsible use of taxpayer dollars," said Councilman Daniel T. Valenzuela, member of the FECS Subcommittee. "This is another big step on our way to becoming one of the most sustainable cities in the nation."

“This SunPower system will reliably produce clean energy for years to come,” said SunPower Director Rick Whisman. “SunPower’s technology will ensure that the system delivers energy over the long-term, reducing operational expenses significantly with no upfront expenditure.”

The high-efficiency system was financed through a solar services agreement with SunPower Corp. Under the terms of the agreement, Wells Fargo Bank owns the system that SunPower designed, built, operates and maintains. The city is hosting the system and buying electricity at rates that are competitive with retail electricity, providing a hedge against rising electricity costs with no capital investment. The renewable energy credits (RECs) associated with the energy produced by the system will be transferred to APS in fulfillment of the state’s renewable energy standard and tariff.

SunPower installed the systems at the Adams Street and Washington Street garages in downtown Phoenix. System construction was completed in four months at the end of 2013.

According to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates, the system is expected to offset the production of more than 2.4 million pounds of carbon dioxide annually, which is equivalent of the annual emissions of 231 passenger vehicles or the emissions required to produce the annual energy needed for 166 homes.

Media Contacts: Stephanie Ribodal Romero, 602-261-8512 or Yvette Roeder, 602-495-0189