San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has signed into law an ordinance that will lead to the construction of what the mayor's office says is California's largest solar photovoltaic installation. Upon the project's completion in 2010, some 25,000 solar panels will line the roof of Sunset Reservoir, more than tripling San Francisco's total municipal solar energy output from the current 2 MW to 7 MW.
The San Francisco board of supervisors has already given final approval to the ordinance, which establishes a 25-year contract between the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and San Francisco-based Recurrent Energy to supply solar power for city municipal services and facilities, including public schools, San Francisco International Airport, SF General Hospital and Muni and more.
The agreement between the SFPUC and Recurrent Energy leverages a 30% federal tax credit available only to the private sector through a power purchase agreement to dramatically lower project costs. Over the 25-year life of the contract, the city estimates that the power purchased from the project will cost $50.3 million, $36 million less than the lifetime cost of $86.3 million had the city built and financed the system themselves, the mayor's office notes.
Under the agreement, Recurrent Energy also assumes all the risk of financing, building and operating the project. The SFPUC is only responsible for purchasing the solar power produced at a competitive rate.
SOURCE: Office Of Mayor Gavin Newsom