Solar

Solar 2004 Host City Commits to Large Solar Project

The city of San Francisco did more than just host this week’s Solar Power 2004, the solar industry’s major annual solar energy convention. They committed themselves to deploying their second large-scale solar electric system.

Mayor Gavin Newsom and officials from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) announced plans for the project at the SFPUC’s Southeast Water Pollution Control Plant, the City’s largest wastewater treatment facility. Covering 20,000 square feet, this 225 kW solar array will complement the city’s largest installation at the Moscone Center. Mayor Newsom made this announcement before the world’s foremost solar industry leaders at the opening plenary of the Solar Power 2004 conference and exposition, the nation’s top solar industry show, wrapping up this week in San Francisco. “It is with great pride that we announce San Francisco’s next large-scale solar project,” said Mayor Gavin Newsom. “The City and County of San Francisco is already one of our nation’s leaders in the municipal use of clean and renewable energy sources. These solar projects mark the City’s continuing progress towards achieving its goal of obtaining all municipal energy from pollution-free sources, while creating jobs and driving economic development. Newsom said the city’s energy projects illustrate that the nation’s cities can make great strides to provide clean air for their communities, protect the environment – and help secure a sustainable energy future for the U.S. The Southeast Water Pollution Control Plant treats more than 80 percent of the daily flow from San Francisco’s combined sewer system. The new solar electric system will provide the plant with more than 300,000 kWh hours per year, enough energy to power 500 homes. The SFPUC has also secured a number of energy efficiency measures within the plant’s operations facilities to accompany the new solar system. By replacing 48 aeration mixers and upgrading a series of electric motors, the plant is now projected to save an additional 1,514,250 kWh per year. The solar project at the Southeast Water Pollution Control Plant is expected to come on-line in summer 2005. The solar array will be furnished with technology from the PowerLight Corporation, the company that designed and installed the Moscone Center’s solar system, dedicated by Mayor Newsom in March 2004. The announcement continues a month-long series of significant renewable energy undertakings by the SFPUC. This October the SFPUC issued a request for proposal for the installation of 10 new municipal solar systems at City schools, libraries and health clinics and partnered with Assemblyman Mark Leno to announce AB594, a new state law which calls for PG&E to credit San Francisco for energy produced at remote solar sites. “This next significant San Francisco solar project demonstrates the City’s commitment to implementing a long term, sustainable energy plan for San Francisco,” said SFPUC General Manager Susan Leal. “By continuing the SFPUC’s efforts with large-scale installations, we are proving to policymakers across the United States that solar power is a viable option for city governments.”