Windsor recognized by the state as a non-profit for a solar project


Windsor received a prestigious award for its floating solar power project.

The 2021 Helen Putnam Award of Excellence was presented to the city Thursday by the nonprofit California League of Cities at a league conference in Sacramento attended by city leaders from across the state. More than 1,800 people were in attendance, according to Jill Oviott, the league’s communications director.

The award recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of California’s 482 cities and promotes innovative municipal government solutions, according to a press release issued by the organization. Windsor and 10 other winners in other categories were chosen from 125 submissions.

The floating solar panel has generated more than 2 million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy since it went online in October, or more than $ 210,000 of electricity.

The solar project is helping Windsor reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with its climate action goals.

“We appreciate the recognition of our floating solar project,” said Windsor Mayor Sam Salmon. “This not only helps us save money, but also helps us operate cleaner, greener and more efficiently. “

It is estimated that the solar panel will save Windsor up to $ 175,000 per year. The network was built by Ciel et Terre, a French company with a Petaluma office. The city has a 25-year lease and a power purchase contract with the company to provide clean energy at a reduced price.

Councilor Deb Fudge said the solar panel was her “favorite project.”

“I was very proud and I know this city was honored to receive this award,” she said. “This project is close to my heart because I piloted it for 10 years to get it in Windsor. It’s a big deal for a city to get that.

Fudge said it was the second trial of a solar project for the city. A solar project with panels on carports in the company’s yard could not be built.

“It was very easy to work with Ciel Et Terre,” she said. “Once it started, it was very fluid. “

City Manager Ken MacNab said the award is “a win for the environment and a project our staff and community can be proud of.”

Director of Public Works Shannon Cotulla pointed out that the technology behind Windsor’s floating solar panel is new to the United States and combines ground-based solar power with marine engineering.

The network covers 4 acres of the city’s largest recycled water pond and is made up of nearly 5,000 360-watt panels atop a floating rack system. It produces 90 percent of the electricity needed to power the Windsor Wastewater Treatment Plant, the Public Works Company Yard, the Public Works Administration Building and the Geysers Pumping Station, which provides power. water collected from the geothermal field in the Mayacamas mountains.

“Our floating solar panel has reduced our dependence on more polluting energy sources by about 350 metric tons per year,” Cotulla said.

Click here to view a video on the project which was presented at the conference

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