The officials at California’s South San Joaquin Irrigation District (SSJID) and solar energy experts at Denver-based Conergy Americas have developed the world’s first single-axis solar tracking system which is stated to generate about 419kW of electricity. The utility will save the irrigation district nearly $400,000 a year in utility costs.
The new project known as the Robert O. Schulz Solar Farm will provide electrical power for the water treatment plant that provides irrigation water for 55,000 acres in the surrounding area.
“The application of thin-film on a solar tracking system as a way to optimize energy output in perennially-dusty or overcast areas is generating a great deal of excitement not only among those in areas with conditions similar to the Central Valley, but among economic policymakers and environmental stewards in Washington, D.C.,” said SSJID General Manager Jeff Shields. “We’re eager to continue our work with Conergy to bring this solution — and the important data it’s generating in our cost-benefit analysis — to light,” he added.