EL CAJON — The Helix Water District last week switched on a new solar panel system that is designed to provide the bulk of electricity needed to run its operations center in El Cajon.
The photovoltaic panels were largely funded with a $463,000 rebate awarded through the California Center for Sustainable Energy in San Diego. A district spokeswoman said Helix ratepayers contributed less than $50,000.
The elevated, 290-kilowatt system covers a 21,000-square-foot area and provides shade in the center’s operations yard. It was developed in partnership with Borrego Solar Systems.
The system operates under an agreement between Helix and Borrego. As part of the pact, the district purchases about 90 percent of the electricity needed to run the Vernon Way center.
Helix serves a 50-square-mile area that includes most of suburban East County.