In addition to its innovative water recycling efforts, San Antonio Water System also plays an integral part in San Antonio's energy future. Dedicated in June 2012, the William R. Sinkin Centennial Solar Farms 1 and 2 are located at SAWS' Dos Rios Water Recycling Center, the site of SAWS' environmental "trifecta" of recycled water, organic biosolids and methane gas. SAWS' participation in the clean energy project is an extension of its commitment to sustainability and being an environmental steward.
CPS Energy, SunEdison Partnership
The solar complex is a result of a partnership with CPS Energy and California-based SunEdison aimed at creating a more sustainable energy future for San Antonio. CPS Energy will purchase all of the electricity produced at the complex through a 25-year power purchase agreement.
The two farms feature a total of 83,034 photovoltaic solar panels that track the sun from east to west. The arrays are located on nearly 200 acres at Dos Rios – acreage that SAWS leases to SunEdison.
Named after local solar energy advocate Bill Sinkin, the project will generate more than 893 million kilowatt hours of electricity during the span of the partnership.
A Winning Combination
The solar farms join SAWS' existing and national award-winning recycling efforts of biogas, organic biosolids (or compost) and recycled water. Sustainable energy resources that include wind, solar and methane gas all contribute to the SA 2020 vision of more reliance on renewable energy resources.
"About 98 percent of waste products here at Dos Rios are now recycled, composted or sold as recycled water, compost and gas," said SAWS Board Chairman Berto Guerra. "Solar energy is a natural next step."
- During the next 25 years, the sites will offset 1.1 billion pounds of carbon dioxide – the equivalent of taking 109,000 vehicles off the road for one year.
- The project will produce enough clean power for an estimated 2,550 average-sized homes annually.