AROUND THE EMPIRE - SONOMA VALLEY
27 large solar panels stolen at sewer plant
Published: Friday, June 22, 2007 at 8:07 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, June 22, 2007 at 8:07 a.m.
Thieves — probably a couple of them with a big truck — stole 27 big solar panels from a new Sonoma Valley sewage treatment plant project that is scheduled for a dedication ceremony July 6.
Sonoma County Water Agency officials said the theft occurred sometime early Thursday, just hours after workers had finished cleaning the field of 5,500 solar panels at the wastewater treatment plant. The photovoltaic project is designed to produce about 1.7 million megawatts of electricity, or almost half what the plant needs annually to operate.
Water Agency spokesman Brad Sherwood estimated the loss at about $30,000. He said the panels will be replaced in time for the ceremony intended to mark the opening of the $7.4¬million project.
Anyone with information about the theft is asked to call the property crimes division of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department at 565-2121. The panels are heavy, requiring at least two people to carry them, and are commercial units unlikely to be compatible with home usage.
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