Special to East Sacramento News
Following Sacramento City Council approval last week, SolarCity and the City of Sacramento are moving forward to install 1.9 megawatts – more than 8,000 solar panels – of new solar power capacity across four municipal sites later this year. The project is expected to be the largest solar power project undertaken by the City of Sacramento. Once operational, the panels are expected to produce approximately 2.6 million kilowatt-hours of solar electricity in their first year, enough to power approximately 250 homes. SolarCity will finance, install and maintain the solar installations.
“This project is a triple win for Sacramento – it will save taxpayers money by lowering the City’s energy costs, reduce pollution by generating renewable power, and create more local jobs to install the panels,” said Mayor Kevin Johnson. “It’s our goal to become a greener city and generating clean energy on our facilities is keeping with that commitment.”
The sites identified as part of this project include:
· City Hall in downtown Sacramento;
· The building at 300 Richards Boulevard that houses the police department and building and planning offices;
· Corporation yard on Meadowview Road that houses the City’s sanitation fleet and other services;
· South Area Corporation Yard off Fruitridge and 28th Street.
As part of the agreement, the City of Sacramento will pay for the power produced through a power purchase agreement (PPA) at a rate that is anticipated to be lower than what they pay for grid electricity, which is expected to create savings for taxpayers over the systems’ lifetimes.
“The City’s new solar projects should help us pass the 100-employee mark in Sacramento this year,” said Dennis Cox, regional director for SolarCity. “It’s possible for Sacramento businesses and residents to save money by using cleaner power, just as the City is doing, and we expect solar adoption to continue to increase in the area as a result of the City’s leadership.”
SolarCity has undertaken more than 700 solar projects in the Sacramento area, ranging from major manufacturing facilities and retail outlets, to hundreds of homes. The company recently expanded into a new, 15,000 square-foot operations center in Sacramento to house its 81 local employees, more than doubling its local facility space.