West Basin Reduces Annual Electricity Costs with SunPower

SunPower offered excellent economics, a superior product, and flexibility in their project design. This approach represented the best overall value for the District.

– Marc Serna, Manager of Engineering, West Basin Municipal Water District 


West Basin Municipal Water District, the sixth-largest water district in California, serves a population of nearly 1 million people. Over the years, West Basin pursued various conservation efforts–from recycling and energy efficiency practices, to educating the community about environmental protection. In 2006, West Basin made the decision to install a turnkey solar electric solution at its water recycling facility to gain the long-term financial and environmental benefits of going solar. Today, West Basin’s 564 kilowatt solar power system produces clean, renewable energy while reducing utility costs by over 10% annually.

Study Reveals SunPower's Value

After deciding on a solar solution, West Basin hired energy consultants to thoroughly investigate the actual cost and predicted savings from the proposed investment. Their findings pointed highly in favor of SunPower’s solar solutions. “We were looking for a solar energy provider with a proven track record of delivering technological and financial success, along with superior product design and end-to-end project management – SunPower offered all of this to us,” says Marc Serna, Manager of Engineering at West Basin Municipal Water District.

On-Time and On-Budget

In November 2006, SunPower completed the installation of West Basin’s commercial solar array, comprising 2,848 of the highest-efficiency solar tiles on the market: the SunPower® T10 Solar Roof Tiles. Fulfilling West Basin’s custom needs, SunPower installed the system atop the district’s in-ground concrete treatment storage tanks, for optimal use of available space. SunPower delivered the project on schedule and within budget, timing the installation with West Basin’s facility expansion efforts, and well in advance of all final utility interconnection financial incentive deadlines.

West Basin Saves 10% Annually

By adding solar, West Basin has reduced utility costs at its water recycling facility by 10% per year. With the SunPower rooftop array, the district now generates reliable, pollution-free power that enables it to sidestep rising electricity prices. Moreover, as part of its mission to educate the public, West Basin showcases its carbon reduction, energy conservation, and environmental protection initiatives through an interactive, educational display at its treatment plant. The project will pay for itself in 13 years.

Project Overview

Location:    El Segundo, California
Completed:    November 2006
Installation Type:    Commercial Roof (ground-level deployment)
System Size:    564 kW
Covered Roof Area:    60,000 square feet
Number of Panels:    2,848
Products:    SunPower® T10 Solar Roof Tiles

  • Reduced annual energy costs by 10%
  • Project payback in 13 years
  • Generates an estimated 783,000 kilowatt hours per year
  • Will reduce CO2 emissions by 7,400 tons over 30 years, which is equivalent to planting 2,100 acres of trees, or removing 1,500 cars from our roads