Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced that the City’s successful solar initiative, GoSolarSF, will be fully funded at $10 million over the next two fiscal years. Mayor Lee made the announcement at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC)’s celebration of the newly installed 558-panel, 182 kW solar system on the roof of the Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall, which brings the City’s total municipal solar generating capacity to more than 7.6 megawatts. Combined with the 8.1 megawatts supported by GoSolarSF, San Francisco’s 15.7 megawatts of solar renewable energy has prevented 7.7 million pounds of CO2 emissions which is equivalent to over 8,000 barrels of oil each year.
“GoSolarSF is a model clean energy program that is creating good paying green jobs for San Francisco workers, while also making solar renewable energy accessible to our residents and businesses,” said Mayor Lee. “The GoSolarSF program and the Davies Symphony Hall Solar Array demonstrate our commitment to installing more solar arrays in San Francisco to increase our renewable energy generation and create local jobs.”
GoSolarSF is a program run by SFPUC that provides incentives for San Francisco residents, businesses, and nonprofits to install solar panels on their property. To date, the program has paid $19.4 million in incentives and completed 2,583 installations across San Francisco. GoSolarSF has created 8.1 megawatts of new solar energy and directly created 121 new jobs in the solar industry for San Francisco’s disadvantaged workers.
Each year, the Davies solar array will provide about 15 percent of Davies’ electricity needs, producing 248,200 kWh of electricity, the equivalent of powering 60 San Francisco homes annually and removing about 50 tons of carbon dioxide from the environment. The Davies Symphony Hall Array came online in March 2014 and was installed by the Department of Public Works.
The new Davies Symphony Hall Solar Array is only the latest solar success story for San Francisco. Since 2004, the City has installed 16 solar arrays to complement its existing municipal greenhouse gas-free electricity supply. SFPUC is the power provider for City services and select retail customers, comprising about 17 percent of the total electricity demand in San Francisco. The 182 kW systems is the SFPUC’s 16th municipal solar array, bringing the City’s total municipal solar generating capacity to more than 7.6 megawatts.
The environmental attributes of Davies Symphony Hall may be unique compared to many of its musical peers, but it is not unique among other City buildings. Every San Francisco municipal building receives power from SFPUC’s Hetch Hetchy Power System. By relying on clean, greenhouse gas-free Hetch Hetchy energy for its buildings, San Francisco avoids discharging approximately 175,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually into the atmosphere. California’s drought further highlights the importance of new sources of renewable energy. Less hydroelectricity is generated during a drought and solar renewables will help reduce the energy demand on the Hetch Hetchy power system and reduce the amount of energy San Francisco may need to purchase on the open market.
“The City continues to expand our municipal solar portfolio,” said SFPUC General Manager Harlan Kelly, Jr. “Our Hetch Hetchy power system and in-City solar network provide cost-effective, greenhouse gas-free energy to our electricity customers like Davies Symphony Hall, SFO, City Hall, General Hospital, MUNI and many more.”
Prior to the Davies solar project, SFPUC invested more than $2 million to make the War Memorial and Davies campuses more energy efficient. Energy efficiency upgrades, including lighting and HVAC retrofits, are saving approximately 1,554,000 kWh and 16,000 therms of natural gas per year.
For more information on the GoSolarSF incentive and SFPUC solar installations, go to: www.sfwater.org