Power Content Label and Energy Mix
Floating Solar Project
The City of Healdsburg completed a 4.78 megawatt solar array on the recycled water treatment ponds in January 2021 at the Wastewater Treatment Facility a few miles west of Healdsburg. The project provides 8% of the City's energy needs, as well as cuts harmful algae bloom on the ponds, which improves the quality of water for local vineyards, farms, and residents that use the recycled water.
The Electric Department connected its first photovoltaic system in 2002, and today has over 6 MW of solar PV interconnected in city limits.
The project also helps Healdsburg’s publicly owned utility to meet the State of California’s environmental sustainability requirements and climate goals. Healdsburg’s electric utility must continuously add renewable and carbon-free energy. In 2025, our electric power must be at least 50% renewable. In 2030, that requirement increases to 60%.
These climate policies help ensure clean power for all ratepayers. Given the need for shade and new renewable energy, the floating solar project provides an important co-benefit to City operations, recycled water customers, and the community.
Healdsburg’s Wastewater Treatment Facility is a state-of-the-art tertiary treatment system processing raw sewage into clean and disinfected recycled water. This water is stored in large thermoplastic-lined ponds and conveyed through pipelines for agricultural users, thus reducing demand for precious groundwater. Algae blooms on the containment ponds on hot summer days; therefore, the ponds require shade to reduce algae growth and ensure the highest quality recycled water. Healdsburg staff conceived the project with the support of the Northern California Power Agency.
The contract was awarded to Dissigno in June 2020 and construction began in October 2020. Through collaboration with Dissigno, White Pine, and Collins Electric, the City moved this project from contract award to interconnection in the same year. The project was contracted as a Power Purchase Agreement (“PPA”). The solar developer paid for the entire project and owns the array. The City simply pays a fair market price for the electricity delivered to our system. One important benefit of a PPA is that it allows the solar developer to apply for federal tax incentives that governmental entities are not eligible for, and in turn, cuts Healdsburg’s cost for energy.
City staff continue to increase the amount of renewable and carbon free energy provided to Healdsburg’s electric customers, such as the Antelope project to develop additional solar energy based near Lancaster, California. This additional solar will increase the City’s overall renewable energy sources by roughly 8% and help to reduce GHG emissions associated with market purchases. The Antelope Solar project was delayed due to an issue with panels shipped from Asia. Most of the panels are now on site and available to construction crews. This project is forecasted for production starting in December 2022.
Additionally, the City finalized a contract with South Feather Power and Water for both large and small hydro resources within the Sierras. This contract provided a small amount of hydro energy in late 2021 and has been supplying Healdsburg with zero-carbon hydro generation throughout 2022. This project is expected to meet roughly 6% of Healdsburg annual energy needs and replace market purchases based mostly on natural gas generation.