Ciel & Terre USA, innovators in floating solar power systems, today announced the completion of two new floating solar projects. A municipal floating solar project in Walden, Colorado, and a private floating solar project for Salad Cosmo in Dixon, California, are producing cost-effective solar power to offset greenhouse gas emissions. Other larger projects are under construction and planned in the U.S.
The Town of Walden, Colorado, faced a challenge with rising energy costs, and by partnering with Johnson Controls on a performance contract, which was supported by Colorado Energy Office, Department of Local Affairs, and GRID Alternatives, the town installed a 75kW floating solar system with Ciel & Terre technology capable of potentially completely powering the town’s drinking water facility in certain months. The $400,000 project included a town-wide energy audit and a $200,000 investment from the town. Estimates are that Walden will save $10,000 per year in energy costs.
Salad Cosmo USA, a family-owned bean sprout producer in Dixon, California, has made an environment commitment that includes using recyclable packaging, composting waste products for use in the fields, and irrigating with waste water. As part of that commitment, Salad Cosmo wanted a sustainable energy solution for production and hired Sky Power Solar of San Ramon, California, to install a 600 kWp floating solar plant using Ciel & Terre’s floating photovoltaic technology.
"Placing a solar system on our farm land would have reduced the yield of our agricultural products that we need from that land. And in summertime, the temperature of the panels does not rise on the water as much as it would on the land, and that improves the solar panel efficiency," said Masahiro Nakada, CEO OF Salad Cosmo U.S.A Corp.
“The Ciel & Terre solution enabled Salad Cosmo to utilize the surface area of the pond, saving land for more productive uses,” said Bob Winn, President of Sky Power Solar.
“These two installations demonstrate that floating solar has become a compelling energy solution for both municipal water treatment and private industry anywhere in the U.S.,” said Eva Pauly-Bowles, Representative Director for Ciel & Terre USA, Inc. “With demand for solar power continuing to rise and available real estate becoming more expensive, floating solar is the ideal solution for anyone with a manmade pond or body of water. It’s cost-effective, quick to install, easy to maintain, and offers a variety of environmental benefits. Floating solar is no longer an exotic niche in the US, but a rapidly growing sector of the solar market. Ciel & Terre USA has other larger floating solar projects under construction and planned across the country.”
Deploying a floating solar array on manmade bodies of water improves energy production by keeping the solar system cooler. At the same time it reduces evaporation, controls algae growth, and reduces water movement to minimize bank erosion. Floating solar arrays also make optimal use of pond surfaces, providing clean solar energy without committing expensive real estate or requiring rooftop installations.