Why Solar for Water and Wastewater Treatment Facilities?

Why Solar for Water and Wastewater Treatment Facilities?

Renewable Energy Procurement |
By Claire Siwulec

Water and wastewater facilities are vital to the success and growth of surrounding communities. However, powering these facilities requires a tremendous amount of energy, consuming 4% of all energy used in the US.  To free up budgets and make use of excess land, water and wastewater facilities are well poised to utilize solar energy to power their plants with low cost, clean energy. 

Why Solar for Wastewater? 

High Electricity Usage? No Problem. 

One of water and wastewater treatment facilities’ biggest expenses is energy. Oftentimes, an on-site solar system can help reduce that expense by generating energy at a lower cost than the incumbent utility.  Not only does solar provide low-cost energy, it also provides long-term cost certainty through power purchase agreements (PPA). Through this agreement, Sol will build, own, and operate a solar energy plant at the water or wastewater treatment facility, allowing the facility to simply buy all electricity generated by the solar system at a fixed rate  lower than the current cost of electricity.  Through this, the facility benefits from savings on its electricity bills from day one of system operation with no upfront costs 

Generate Clean, On-Site Energy  

Beyond high energy usage, solar and water are a successful pairing because these facilities often have the land requirements necessary to build a solar project of appropriate scale. Historically, many water and wastewater facilities purchased additional land beyond their required footprint to serve as a buffer between the plant and any neighbors, making  the  land  a perfect site for a solar energy system. Sol has built projects for water and wastewater treatment plants on parcels as small as 5 acres, but sees the best results for projects that are 10 acres and larger. 

What makes Sol unique? 

Because of our extensive and proven work with water and wastewater treatment facilities, Sol Systems understands the technical aspects of treatment facilities, including electrical infrastructure and underground equipment. Through Sol’s power purchase agreement, we will pay for  all development and construction, while the facility locks into a low electricity cost for a period of 15 to 25 years. 

Interested in learning more about the opportunities of solar and wastewater? Check out our wastewater case study or fill out the intake form below. 


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