Floating solar power gets 10 year fixed lease for California municipality


We’ve got solar combined with bees and crops – might as well float some solar.

Ciel & Terre has completed a 250 kW-DC floating solar plant for a water district in Lake County, Northern California in on behalf of Kelseyville County Waterworks District #3. The solar system was sized to offset 100% of the Kelseyville plant’s electrical usage of 373,584 kW, which translates to a DC capacity factor of 17%.

The project was built by North Coast Solar. The final system consists of 720 solar modules, 400 f thm being Canadian Solar CS3U-350P, and the other 320 being the 345 W version. SolarEdge optimizers and inverters finished out the project.

Early designs included three 80 KW Delta M80U inverters located on the shore of the pond. The solar modules, at this point 738 Canadian Solar CS6U-340M, are to be installed on a Ciel & Terre Hydrelio “solar island”. Three combiner boxes will be installed on the island, with submersible pump cable running through corex floating conduit to three DC disconnects on shore along with a 400 amp solar subpanel and fused solar disconnect switch.

A smaller version of the solar island was to be anchored to shore with a soil anchor system estimated to require 9 anchors – the final version of the project used 11 anchors. The system is designed to sit on the bottom of the pond if the pond drains.

Early project finance offers included a 10-year municipal lease, with fixed payments, from Mission Capital Solar Finance. The payback was projected at just over eight years without any incentives, and without the municipality putting down any cash.

The Hydrelio system has been installed in over 235 MW of projects, and expects to cross 330 MW in 2018. This will be Ciel & Terre’s fourth completed project in the United States, with the prior three being a 5 kW at UCF in Orlando, 10 kW at Kunde Winery in California, and a 32 kW for the municipal utility in Orlando.

The Ciel & Tierre has also achieved approval in Massachusetts for its system to participate in the SMART program. Contrary to the nice system in the link above, the company shared images with pv magazine of this system atop the lake in the harsh Massachusetts winter. The system survived.

Edit – Ciel & Terre provided pv magazine with additional project specific information. ‘Early’ system data was gleaned from public records submitted in the fall of 2017.