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Sacramento continues its commitment to sustainability. A 1.5 megawatt solar installation was recently completed at Sutter’s Landing Park. Built by Conergy, the solar installation will produce approximately 2,300 megawatts hours of solar energy annually for the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), which will be used for residential and commercial business consumption.

“Sutter’s Landing solar installation will provide power directly into the Sacramento grid,” said Anthony Fotopoulos, CEO of Conergy Americas. “It creates a virtual net metering situation for residents and businesses so they can receive solar generated power even if they aren’t able to install their own solar power system.”

158010851_8oz7UgzEThe solar installation is built atop the City’s former landfill and offers a covered carport over the main parking area and shaded seating areas for dog park users. In addition, planned signage will provide education about the benefits of clean solar energy production and the current effects of global warming.

While the solar installation brings energy and sun protection to Sacramento residents, it presented design and construction challenges.

The landfill, closed nearly 15 years, required a flexible system that could move with the ever shifting and settling ground. An innovative “earth screw” ballast system – tightly sealed to avoid seepage – was used to support the solar modules, eliminating the need for heavy concrete footings, which could have damaged the landfill cap. In addition, the land is home to the endangered valley elderberry longhorn beetle, and the system had to be designed and built around the bushes that protect the beetle.

“By providing shade for park users and clean energy for the rest of us, this solar project is a perfect match for Sutter’s Landing Park,” said Cohn. “Conergy also understood the necessity of preserving the elderberry beetle’s habitat onsite and graciously worked with stakeholders to accommodate and protect this sensitive habitat throughout all phases of the project.”

At peak operation, the solar installation is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 3.5 million pounds annually and greenhouse gas emissions equal to removing 350 passenger vehicles from the road for a year. Revenue produced from the power generated for and consumed by residents and businesses will be re-invested to fund park preservation and maintenance.

To find more, visit City of Sacramento, Recycling & Solid Waste.