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San Francisco, Calif., installing 7.8 megawatts of solar power on City facilities

by Rena Ragimova Jul 31, 2008

The Achievement

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has now installed solar photovoltaic systems on the following City facilities:

  • Moscone Convention Center
  • Pier 96
  • Wastewater treatment Plants (Southeast, Northpoint)
  • San Francisco International Airport

The City is also planning solar projects at the following sites:

  • Sunset Reservoir
  • Muni facilities
  • Libraries
  • City Hall


The Benefits

  • These completed solar systems now produce 2 megawatts, 2,620 megawatt-hours per year, and save 867 tons of C02 per year.
  • The planned solar systems will produce 5.8 megawatts, 7,297 megawatt-hours per year, and save 2,415 tons of C02 per year.
  • Totals: 7.8 megawatts, 9,918 megawatt-hours per year, and 3,282 tons CO2 per year saved


[Source: August 5, 2008 Summary Report: San Francisco Actions to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions] Read more »

San Francisco, Calif.’s energy efficiency measures save approximately 60,000 tons of C02

by Rena Ragimova Jul 31, 2008

The Achievements

The City of San Francisco has implemented sweeping and innovative energy efficiency measures for both government operations and the San Francisco community.

  • The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) has completed energy efficiency projects in City facilities, including lighting and HVAC retrofit projects at San Francisco General Hospital, public health clinics, Moscone West Convention Center, City-wide LED traffic signals, Library Administration Building, and Southeast Wastewater treatment plant. Projects completed between 2003-2008 projects are reducing energy consumption by 26,699 megawatt-hours per year of electricity, 10,303 therms per year of natural gas, and 8,897 tons of CO2 per year.
  • At the San Francisco International Airport, SFPUC has identified lighting and HVAC savings of 37,000 megawatt-hours per year, 900,000 therms per year — equivalent to 17,525 tons CO2 per year reduction.
  • To reduce community-wide energy use, the City implemented the following successful commercial and multi-family residential energy efficiency programs: Power Savers, SFPEP, and SF Energy Watch. These programs have helped to reduce electricity use in San Francisco by 18 megawatts – enough to power more than 20,000 residencies. Combined programs are on target to save businesses and residents $21 million annually. Programs completed between 2002-2008 are saving 32,945 tons CO2 per year.
  • San Francisco led the way in 1999 when it adopted mandatory green building standards for municipal construction in the Resource Efficient Building Ordinance. The ordinance was amended in 2004 to require all new municipal construction to meet the standard of LEED Silver.
  • The City recently established a Green Building Task Force to improve environmental performance of new construction projects in the City, and introduced an ordinance codifying Task Force recommendations — the strongest in the nation.
Read more »

Portland, OR, Residents Drive 2.88 Billion Fewer Miles Per Year

by Rena Ragimova Jul 04, 2008

The Achievements

  • The two million residents of metropolitan Portland, OR, travel 2.88 billion fewer miles per year than the average U.S. metropolitan resident (20 percent fewer miles per day), thanks to smart land-use planning (to curb sprawl) and stellar public transit.
  • They are also twice as likely to use transit to commute to work and seven times more likely to commute by bicycle than the average metropolitan resident of the United States.
  • Ridership on the TriMet transit system, with its extensive bus, streetcar, light rail, and commuter rail lines, has grown for 20 consecutive years, and in the past 10 years has grown 46 percent, even though Portland’s population grew only 27 percent.

The Benefits

  • 4.2 tons of smog-forming pollutants are avoided every day when Portlanders leave their cars at home and ride TriMet.
  • Because metropolitan Portlanders drive so much less than the average U.S. metro resident, the total estimated savings on car purchases, gas, and other vehicle-related expenses comes to $1.1 billion dollars per year.
  • By driving 2.88 billion fewer miles each year, Portlanders saves 400,000 gallons of gas per day, and 1.4 million tons of greenhouse gases per year.


[Sources: CEOs for Cities’ Portland Green Dividend Report; TriMet website] Read more »

Las Vegas, NV, offsets costs for constructing buildings certified LEED Silver or above

by Rena Ragimova Jul 01, 2008

The Achievement

The City of Las Vegas, NV dedicated 25 percent of any increase in the total of franchise fees collected from providers of electricity, gas and solid waste collection services over the total collected in 2007, (not exceeding $2.5 million per year), to cover any increased costs associated with constructing new city buildings or renovating and maintaining existing buildings to the USGBC LEED Silver level or equivalent. Read more »

Ashland, Ore., develops innovative Solar Pioneers project

by Rena Ragimova Jun 30, 2008

The Achievement

The City of Ashland, Ore., which operates its own municipal utility, has installed a 63.5 kW community solar electric system on its city service center. Ashland residents and businesses may invest in this system by “adopting” solar panels, or portions of a panel –  bringing renewable energy to the community and lowering their electric bills.

The system will consist of 363 solar electric panels rated at 175 DC Watts. Ashland customers can purchase the output of panels for 20 years, and become “Solar Pioneers”: A full panel for $825, a 1/2 panel for $412.50 or a 1/4 panel for $206.25. Each year the City will credit the electric bill of participants for the amount of renewable electricity their panels have generated. The City will be responsible for the maintenance of the system.

Read more »