San Francisco Mayor Dedicates Solar Array

Mayor Gavin Newsom and officials from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) joined with City and State officials in dedicating the new 675 kW solar electric system atop the Moscone Center. With the installation of this new 60,000 square foot solar array, San Francisco now boasts the largest City-owned solar installation in the country. The electricity generated by Moscone’s solar system, combined with savings from energy efficiency measures, delivers the equivalent energy to power approximately 8,500 homes.

San Francisco – March 22, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] “It is with great pride that we dedicate this historic Moscone Center solar installation,” said Mayor Gavin Newsom. “San Francisco is a leader in the use of clean and renewable energy sources – solutions that make sense for both the environment and the economy. This solar project marks the City’s first major step towards achieving its goal of obtaining all municipal energy from pollution-free sources, while creating jobs and driving economic development. More importantly, the Moscone energy project is a clear illustration of how our nation’s cities can make great strides to provide clean air for our communities, protect the environment – and help secure a sustainable energy future for our nation.” The Moscone Center energy project, recently completed by PowerLight Corporation, combines solar electric generation with energy efficiency initiatives to provide the convention center with clean power and energy savings. Solar electricity is generated by a 675 kW photovoltaic array. New building controls and energy efficient lighting reduce energy requirements. Together, the solar power and energy efficiency measures will make available more than five million kWhs annually. The SFPUC’s deployment of clean, reliable energy resources in municipal buildings such as the Moscone center is an important step towards meeting the goals of San Francisco’s long-term Electricity Resource plan. The Moscone solar installation was funded in part by the San Francisco Mayor’s Energy Account (MECA). Established in 2001, MECA, directed funding to finance energy efficiency programs in City buildings and facilities. “The Moscone solar project demonstrates the SFPUC’s commitment to implement a long term, sustainable energy plan for San Francisco,” said SFPUC General Manager Patricia E. Martel. “Reliable solar generation benefits both the City and the entire Bay Area region by reducing congestion on the electricity grid as well as improving air quality and preventing other environmental impacts,” said SFPUC Assistant General Manager for Power Policy, Ed Smeloff. “PowerLight is proud to be part of a public-private partnership that allows local government to take a leadership role in implementing clean, renewable power,” said PowerLight President Dan Shugar. “San Francisco is distinguishing itself as a forerunner in deploying technology innovations that are critical to our collective future. The Moscone Center energy project demonstrates that solar electric generation and energy efficiency are smart investments for business and government.” The Moscone Center Energy project consists of two parts: solar power generation and energy efficiency. The solar electric system is a PowerLight photovoltaic roofing assembly installed on the Moscone Center roof. The solar panels also provide thermal insulation and protect the roof from harsh UV rays and thermal degradation, which reduces heating and cooling energy costs and extends the life of the roof. The energy efficiency measures include upgrades to lighting equipment and building controls. These include replacing older, inefficient incandescent, fluorescent and mercury vapor lighting with newer energy efficient lighting technologies. These technologies also provide higher lighting quality and create a better environment for both employees and convention attendees. By reducing the purchase of fossil fuel-generated electricity, Moscone Center’s solar system spares the environment from tons of harmful emissions. Over the next 30 years the solar generated electricity and energy efficiency measures will reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 35,000 tons. These emissions reductions are equivalent to removing 7,000 cars or not driving 88 million miles in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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