GenCorp subsidiary Aerojet,, announced completion today of the expansion (2.4 MW) at the Company’s Sacramento facility in conjunction with vertically integrated solar developer, Solar Power, Inc. (SOPW), and industry leading publicly owned utility, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD).

This expansion brings the site to 6 MW, making it the biggest single-site solar photovoltaic (PV) generator in California and marking the culmination of vast efforts by a public-private partnership, fostered by Aerojet and made possible with the cooperation of SMUD, SOPW, and the EPA.

The array utilizes a series of 22 sub-arrays comprised of over 29k of the SOPW-manufactured SPI 205 watt modules (current PV module champion in its class as ranked by the California Energy Commission). The sub-arrays are mounted on a single-axis tracking system which optimizes output of the system by aligning the modules continuously with the angle of the sun to receive maximum input.

Aerojet plans to utilize output of the system to power up to 30% of the groundwater treatment infrastructure currently operating in Sacramento.

VP of Sustainability for Aerojet, Ron Samborsky, called the initiative a “major step” towards ecological sustainability, and noted that it would vastly reduce the Company’s carbon footprint and return up to 40 acres of a Superfund site to use; indeed, turn it into an environmental asset.

Essentially replacing a whopping 10 GW hours per year currently derived from fossil fuels, the installation is a benefice to the entire community serviced by SMUD, and helps to build SMUD’s alternative energy portfolio with some of the best modern PV hardware available. This also puts SMUD in line with California state law (SB-1), which mandates a statewide goal of 20% of electricity generation from solar PV by 2010, and 125 MW by 2016.

Chairman and CEO of SOPW, Steve Kircher, was pleased at completion of phase two and called the entire 40-acre array a “testimony to how the creative energies of public and private enterprises can be focused to achieve objectives that benefit not only the organizations involved, but an entire region both economically and environmentally.”

Employing 200 highly skilled workers and creating an additional 100 auxiliary jobs for Sacramento, construction of the array allows Aerojet, known already the world over as an aerospace and defense leader, to boast of some amazingly green achievements as well:

• Offset 6k tons of Carbon Dioxide; 23.8 tons of Sulfur Dioxide; 9.3 tons of Nitrogen Oxide
• In year 1 the equivalent of removing 1,075 combustion engines or 1.4 million trees planted