SF gets new way to generate renewable energy


The Sunset Reservoir Solar Project has enough solar panels on the roof of the reservoir to power $1,500 homes.

"It triples our municipally owned solar output; it gets us to seven megawatts of production, still scratching the surface but this represents the largest municipally owned project in the state of California," Mayor Gavin Newsom said.

With the Golden Gate Bridge as a backdrop, Newsom, along with other elected officials, announced the two-year project complete.

There are 24,000 solar panels on the roof, about the size of 12 football fields. Energy generated from the solar panels will be used to power Muni and government offices to start.

The reservoir project is a public -private partnership between the city's public utilities commission and Recurrent Energy.

"Recurrent Energy actually owns and operates this plant, so we are deploying private capital into creating a piece of public infrastructure and then we sell the electricity to the city," Recurrent Energy CEO Arno Harris said.

Recurrent will charge the city 23.5 cents per kilowatt hour, a savings of $26 million over the next 25 years.

But the mayor is not stopping there; he wants the city to become completely 100 percent renewable within 10 years. And he is turning to wind and wave energy to make it possible.

"We've done a lot of studies off the coast that show we could get 30 to 100 megawatts of power through wave energy so that's another source of energy we have here," Melanie Nutter said.

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