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Company Provides Tracking Systems To Solar PV Project Operating On Dual-Axis Trackers

Tue, 03/03/2009 - 10:44am

RICHMOND, Calif., March 3 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- ET Solar Group, in cooperation with Solar Power Partners, Inc. (SPP), announced the completion of the largest dual-axis PV tracker system in the United States.

Composed of 89 ET Solar trackers spread over 5 acres, the solar power plant will generate 1.014 MW or 35% of the electricity demands of West County Wastewater District every year. ET Solar provided the tracking systems, one of the key components of the entire project configuration, and also facilitated the design of the project layout to maximize environment benefits and financial returns of this multi-million dollar investment. Amid the worst financial crisis seen in decades, the partners overcame challenges of funding, terrain complexity, and a saltwater environment to ensure the smooth completion of the largest solar plant of its kind to date in the United States.

At the WCWD brown field site, the soil is soft and difficult to work with. Most PV tracking system installations require land grading and poles to be sunk into the ground to provide stability. However, with the soft soil at the location, constructing this type of installation was almost impossible. ET Solar's dual-axis trackers that rest on concrete bases and provide needed stability while avoiding digging holes in the ground turned out to be an ideal solution to the environmental challenges of the project.

Alex von Welczeck, President and CEO of Solar Power Partners commented, "ET Solar's dual-axis tracker design was crucial in resolving the terrain installation issues. Improving the efficiency of the system by 35% was a good benefit as well."

The waste water plant land also had the issue of being near the ocean and subject to corrosive salty air. Furthermore, part of the land floods during times of heavy rain, posing a challenge to most other technologies. Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of ET Solar Group, Linhui Sui, explained, "Our trackers were a perfect fit to this project. Not only do our trackers raise the efficiency of systems by 35%, but they are also built to work in moist and harsh environments so the salty air and flooding issues do not affect the tracker's operation. We are proud to be able to offer a solution for this challenging project and we look forward to expanding our partnership with Solar Power Partners as the country continues to diversify its energy sources and reduce carbon emissions."

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