ACWA announces new solar partnership program

Signing of five-year agreement with two of world's top solar electric system suppliers -- PowerLight Corp. and WorldWater & Power Corp. -- establishes a unique partnership to help California water agencies control and even reduce energy costs while helping the state ensure greater grid system reliability...

SACRAMENTO, CA, April 13, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) and two of the world's top solar electric system suppliers today announced the signing of a five-year agreement that establishes a unique partnership program to help California water agencies control and even reduce their energy costs while helping the state ensure greater grid system reliability.

The two companies -- PowerLight Corp. and WorldWater & Power Corp. -- have agreed to offer water agencies proposals they guarantee will be as good or better than competitors' for photovoltaic solar electric or onsite solar generation systems capable of running large water pumps or powering water treatment plants.

"Five to seven percent of the state's electricity consumption is by water agencies for water treatment, pumping, and moving water to get it to consumers," said Steve Hall, ACWA's executive director. Hall also noted that by reducing purchases of electricity from the utility, operating costs are greatly reduced, with the potential for district savings of thousands of dollars. This also leaves more capacity in the utility grid system to help meet the energy needs of other customers.

Hall's sentiments were echoed by Quentin T. Kelly, chairman and CEO of WorldWater & Power, who remarked, "We are pleased to be able to use our proprietary technology to drive the pumps for the water systems -- all with no noise or pollution while reducing or even erasing the utility's annual electric bill."

PowerLight President Dan Shugar also concurred, saying, "PowerLight is delighted to be ACWA's preferred partner for solar photovoltaics. California's water agencies will benefit tremendously from wider deployment of solar technology. Through this partnership, ACWA and its member water agencies will be significantly contributing to California's overall efforts to achieve sustainability and energy independence."

The systems provided by these companies go beyond simply supplying power for an office building. The solar energy harnessed using this technology can power a treatment plant or large motors used for pumping water, as well as protect agency budgets from higher energy rates.

Improved technology, especially the advances available through PowerLight and WorldWater & Power, together with state sponsored incentive programs, makes solar energy an attractive option for water agencies.

Proprietary technology offered by WorldWater includes equipment that enables a solar system to interact seamlessly with the grid and to sense grid power interruptions with an ensuing immediate switch to solar drive to continue motor/pump operations.

Among PowerLight's several proprietary technologies is its PowerTracker system. This features an integrated, single-axis design that enables the photovoltaic modules to automatically follow the path of the sun throughout the day. That results in the maximum possible energy generation and, therefore, the greatest cost savings to the agency. PowerTracker operates as a grid-connected solar electric system.

For more information about the partnership, visit www.acwa.com/products/partnership_program/solar_program.asp.

ACWA (www.acwa.com) is a statewide non-profit organization whose 447 public agency members are collectively responsible for 90 percent of the water delivered in California for residential, agricultural, and industrial use.

PowerLight (www.powerlight.com) is a leading manufacturer and supplier of large-scale solar electric systems and energy efficiency services. Founded in 1991, PowerLight delivers reliable, affordable, clean power solutions for business and government customers worldwide. Inc. Magazine has ranked PowerLight Corporation among the top 500 fastest growing privately held companies for the past five consecutive years. PowerLight has built and continues to operate many of the largest solar electric systems in North America and Europe.

WorldWater & Power Corp. (www.worldwater.com) is an international solar engineering and water management company specializing in high-powered, patented solar technology that provides independent electricity to reduce or eliminate grid electric costs and/or to power motors and pumps up to 600 hp. WorldWater & Power is the only solar company able to continue critical power operations even when the grid is down. WorldWater & Power specializes in the design, engineering and construction of solar electric energy systems, and has completed projects in more than 20 countries.

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