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Largest Solar Panel System on County Property Switched On

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February 23, 2011

Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman Ron Roberts and County and San Diego Gas & Electric officials on Wednesday flipped a switch to activate a massive field of new solar panels atop the County Operations Center parking garage. The SDG&E-owned system represents the largest solar energy structure on County property to date and a new source of renewable energy for the community.

“This project is an excellent example of how the County finds creative opportunities to incorporate green building and energy efficiency into our work,” Vice Chairman Roberts said. “Projects like this make both environmental and financial sense.”


Video: New Power Source Online
 

The photovoltaic system is housed on top of 24 steel shade canopies, producing renewable energy while providing cover for cars at the Kearny Mesa Operations Center campus. The panels produce about 627,216 kilowatt-hours of energy each year, or enough to power 107 average single-family homes in San Diego County.

The system represents about 376 tons of greenhouse gases that would otherwise enter the atmosphere each year. That’s equivalent to not driving about a million miles each year or planting over 11,000 trees.

SDG&E oversaw and funded the system’s construction, working with contractor Independent Energy Solutions. In a 10-year agreement, the County will lease the space to SDG&E for $61,000.

The County’s energy goals require every new County building to be certified under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. The parking garage solar energy system is one of numerous green features that helped two new office buildings at the County Operations Center earn LEED Gold Certification earlier this month.


         

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