City of Thousand Oaks Maximizes Energy Savings with SunPower

Installing a 584 kW SunPower® Tracker solar electric system in the HillCanyon Water Treatment Plant is helping the City of Thousand Oaksreduce energy needs, take advantage of utility-sponsored solar incentives,and create a successful model for deploying solar in the public sector.

Chuck Rogers, Superintendent of the City of Thousand Oaks Hill CanyonWater Treatment Plant, was impressed with a SunPower representative whosuggested his facility could realize a multi-million dollar rebate by installinga large-scale solar electric system on-site. “I signed the CA Self-GenerationIncentive Program rebate agreement that day. After fully evaluating ouroptions, the City Council heartily endorsed the project,” said Rogers. HillCanyon contracted for a 500 kW co-generation system in addition to their584 kW SunPower Tracker solar power system.


• $200,000 saved annually with solar and co-generation initiatives

• Solar power will help meet 15% of the plant’s energy requirements

• Improves air quality for Thousand Oaks and nearby communities

• Will reduce CO2 emissions by 10,000 tons over 30 years—equivalent toplanting 2,820 acres of trees or not driving 25 million miles

“I am absolutely convinced thatinstalling a SunPower Trackersystem at Hill Canyon wasfinancially beneficial andthe right decision for the Cityof Thousand Oaks.” Chuck Rogers, SuperintendentCity of Thousand Oaks, Hill CanyonWater Treatment Plant


According to Rogers, one of the reasons the city chose to contract withSunPower was the company’s unique solar tracking technology, which enablesthe facility to realize a higher return on investment by maximizing the system’senergy generation within the limited available space. The 584 kW system,which incorporates 2,783 SunPower solar panels, is mounted within an existingconcrete-lined overflow basin on the grounds of the Hill Canyon facility. TheSunPower Tracker features an innovative single-axis design that allows solarpanels to follow the sun’s path throughout the day. As a result, energy capture isincreased by up to 25% over fixed-tilt arrays.


Thousand Oaks made a strong financial decision by purchasing their systemthrough SunPower Access™, a long-term purchase agreement program thatprevents high initial costs. Under the terms of this agreement, the City ofThousand Oaks does not make any out-of-pocket investment to install or maintainthe solar system. MMA Renewable Ventures LLC owns the system and providedthe financing, while SunPower designed and constructed the system and handlesits operation and maintenance. This guarantees the City of Thousand Oaks afixed rate for their clean solar energy over the next 20 years, after which it maychoose to keep the system and assume its ownership or install a more efficient one.


The City Council and the Public Works Department take pride in their proactiveleadership to reduce their electrical load on the utility grid. “We hope that in fiveyears all of the facility’s electricity will be provided through relentless conservationand enhanced on-site energy generation,” said Rogers. Over the next 30 years,this SunPower solar system will help reduce CO2 emissions by 10,000 tons,which is equivalent to planting 2,820 acres of trees, or not driving 25 millionmiles on our California roadways.