Solar, Wind Power

PV to Santa Cruz City Hall Annex

The Santa Cruz City Hall annex has a photovoltaics system perched on the building’s south facing roofline, which will be dedicated by Santa Cruz Mayor Christopher Krohn on April 22, Earth Day.

SANTA CRUZ, California – April 19, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] By converting sunlight into electricity, the system will generate about 25,000 kilowatt-hours each year, enough electricity for 7 percent of the total electricity needed at the annex. Depending on the rate structure of the utility serving the area, the solar power could slice the building’s electricity bill by US$3400 to US$6000 a year and prevent almost 34,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually. The California Energy Commission’s Emerging Renewables Buydown Program made the purchase of the PV system possible. The program offers rebates of US$4.50 a watt, or up to 50 percent off the purchase price of an eligible project, whichever is lower. System owners also can apply for state and federal tax credits. (Non-profits like the city can’t take advantage of the tax credit.) The rebates apply to solar photovoltaics, small wind systems (10 kilowatt or less), fuel cells using renewable fuels and solar thermal electric generation systems. Participating systems must remain connected to the electric grid. Started in 1998, the program has installed over 2,200 solar systems capable of producing over 7,400 kilowatts of electricity. The program has approved 1000 more rebate reservations for projects that can generate 10 MW of electricity. The majority of the systems are solar photovoltaic. A megawatt is enough electricity for 1,000 average California homes.