Large Solar Project Approved for Recycling Center

The members of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) approved an agreement to design and install an 18,500 square foot photovoltaic (PV) solar power system on the rooftop of Recycle Central at Pier 96. The new 283 kW solar array will generate the equivalent energy demand of more than 100 homes and help power the 200,000 square foot facility’s recycling operations.

The SFPUC approval of the new agreement comes as year-end data shows the SFPUC’s largest municipal installation at the Moscone Center solidly exceeding performance targets in its first year of operation. “With the new Pier 96 solar system, San Francisco will take another step toward clean energy leadership,” said Barbara Hale, SFPUC Assistant General Manager for Power. “With these and other solar investments, the SFPUC will meet a growing portion of our municipal electrical needs with clean, renewable energy resources.” Following approval of a lease agreement by the San Francisco Port Commission, the Pier 96 solar energy system will be the SFPUC’s second large-scale municipal solar installation to get underway this year. A new 18,500 square foot, 255 kW solar system at the SFPUC’s Southeast Water Pollution Control Plant is scheduled to go online in October. Together, the solar installations at the Moscone Center, Southeast Water Pollution Control Plant and Pier 96 will generate 1,500 MWh per year, roughly the energy needed to power approximately 500 homes for a year. Recycle Central at Pier 96 combines modern conveyor systems and hand sorting done by recycling workers to separate bottles, cans and paper. The facility is operated by SF Recycling & Disposal, Inc., a subsidiary of Norcal Waste Systems, headquartered in San Francisco. “These photovoltaic panels will provide a new source of clean, renewable energy, and that power will be used to help sort recyclables from San Francisco,” said Brad Drda, Environmental Program Manager at Recycle Central. The SFPUC also reported today that new year-end data for its 675-kW solar array at the Moscone Center, which first came online in June 2004, show the system producing 5 percent more electricity than projected in its first complete year of operation. Factoring in the energy efficiency savings from a major lighting renovation also completed at the facility, the Moscone Center Energy Project generates nearly $600,000 in annual utility savings. Over the next 30 years the solar generated electricity and energy efficiency measures will reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 35,000 tons. This emission reduction is equivalent to removing 7,000 cars from the road, or not driving 88 million miles. “We applaud San Francisco’s leadership in implementing comprehensive energy strategies that integrate clean solar electric power and on-site energy efficiency,” noted Dan Shugar, President of the PowerLight Corporation, which designed and built the Moscone Solar deployment. “San Francisco is demonstrating how local governments can improve air quality while saving taxpayers’ dollars.”

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