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City of Willits Water Treatment Plant
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City of Willits Water Treatment Plant

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Willits, CA


This project is located at the City of Willits’s water supply pumping station in the City’s watershed. The system is distributed over a hillside in several sub-arrays which allow easy access for panel cleaning and vegetation management. With a capacity to generate 530,000 kilowatts annually, this solar PV system will also meet 100 percent of the current power needs for the City of Willit’s Water Treatment Plant.

Producing 2.2 million gallons of drinking water per day, this plant is an important part of the city’s infrastructure.

This project was more challenging than a typical ground mount PV system due to the physical location of the PV system: located on a hillside in a watershed above the domestic water supply for the City of Willits. Planning was paramount in allowing the project to move forward as the scheduled completion date was late December – well into the rainy season.

A northern California civil engineering firm was recruited to assist with the design phase for excavation and drainage. The developed plan minimized and restricted the runoff to an interceptor drainage system that diverted the runoff to an area that would not impact the water supply. The plan included installation of a drainage ditch/swale that coursed its’ way through the array field without making any major changes to the basic system size or layout. For corrosion control, a low growing grass was planted that requires no cutting during the growing season.

Adding solar arrays to this facility has reduced energy costs and carbon dioxide emissions which occur with other forms of energy production. During the course of a year three inverters will generate over 570,000 kWh of clean energy.


  • Energy Capacity: 422 kW DC
  • # of Modules: 756 Sharp PV modules
  • Type of Mount: Fixed tilt ground mount
  • Type of Inverter: 3 Satcon inverters
  • Monitoring System: Draker data monitoring with weather station

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