U.S. Department of Energy

    After 20 Years, California Solar Project Reaches 3.2 Megawatts

    September 1, 2004

    California's Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) dedicated new solar power arrays on August 24th at the site of one of its first major solar installations, located about 25 miles southeast of Sacramento, near the now-closed Rancho Seco nuclear power plant. The new arrays increase the solar power capacity at the site to 3.2 megawatts. The site's first solar project—a one-megawatt system called PV1—was installed 20 years ago, and those solar arrays are still operating at about 80 percent of their original performance.

    Including the solar panels that SMUD has installed on parking structures, homes, and other buildings, the utility now has a total installed solar power capacity of 8.3 megawatts. In the past year, the utility has drawn on renewable energy sources for 9 percent of its electricity supply, and the utility has committed to increase that percentage to 20 percent by 2011. See the SMUD press release (PDF 98 KB). Download Acrobat Reader.