Photovoltaic Solar Panels Coming to San Francisco’s Public Housing Projects

Well, read all about it. Rooftop solar is coming to the Hayes Valley North, and South, and Plaza East housing projects in the greater Western Addition / Lower Haight area.

The Future is Now. Click to expand:

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The mise-en-scene this morning, including Mayor Gavin Newsom, Rev. Amos Brown, Public Utilities Commission Director Ed Harrington, District 8 Supervisor hopeful Laura Spanjian, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Deputy District Director Melanie Nutter. The roof you can see upper left is slated for a panel or two:

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Mr. Mayor was going on about San Francisco being number one in California rooftop photovoltaic solar installations on a per capita basis – his statement was just one caveat shy of being operational. It would appear the rich yuppies and less-rich granolas of ridiculously-named Nevada City, California, to name just one city, have erected a ginourmous number of rooftop panels. Maybe he meant San Francisco County. Oh, here’s the caveat – “large” city. Doesn’t match what he was actually saying today, but that fixes the error. In front of a sample PV panel and betwixt MLK and Barack Obama from somebody’s bedroom window across the street:

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So how much is “365 kw?” Well, I’m not sure what that figure means. It could mean maximum power in ideal conditions. You’ll just have to do an install and then measure what you get on a sunny day, ’cause every installation of PV is unique. If it helps to compare, the 5.4 litre engine from a used Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 can put out more power than what the solar panels at Hayes Valley North, and South, and Plaza East together will be capable of producing at maximum.

(In other vehicular matters, no, the mayor’s SUV wasn’t sitting idling during the entire event – that’s an improvement.)

And in other vehicular matters once again, this was the scene at the end of the block where the news conference was held. Scratch one laptop. Is it being fenced right now? Probably.

Oh well.

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The Fixing Broken Windows theory in action.

Anywho, el comunicado de prensa de hoy:


 Newsom also announces 450% increase in San Francisco solar applications since inception of solar rebate program

Mayor Gavin Newsom today announced plans to install over 365 kw of
solar panels on the San Francisco Housing Authority properties of
Hayes Valley North and South and Plaza East through San Francisco’s
GoSolarSF Initiative. The solar panels will provide hundreds of thousands
of kilowatts of clean, renewable electricity to public housing residents.
The project is expected to create 25 jobs and be completed by the end of
the year.
“With initiatives like GoSolarSF, San Francisco is lighting the way with
solar power,” said Mayor Newsom. “Solar power will reduce greenhouse gases,
grow our green economy, and lead the state towards a future of clean,
renewable energy.”

More deets after the jump.

Sunwheel Energy Partners, a renewable energy firm, will install the solar
panels on the public housing properties. The solar installation is also
made possible by the San Francisco Housing Authority, McCormack Baron
Salazar/ McCormack Baron Ragan, by the San Francisco Public Utilities
Commission’s GoSolarSF solar energy incentive program, and by the MASH
Rebate Program, the affordable housing component of the California Solar
Initiative, managed by Pacific Gas & Electric.
Mayor Newsom launched “GoSolarSF,” San Francisco’s first of its kind, solar
energy rebate program in July 2008. The program was created to offer
incentives to San Francisco residents and businesses to install solar
power on their properties. It is the first solar rebate of its kind, and
the largest municipal solar program in the country.
Before GoSolarSF was implemented, San Francisco received applications for
just 200 solar installations under the California Solar Initiative. After
the first year of implementation, the city has seen a 450% increase in
applications (850 applications) for solar installations in San Francisco.
According to a soon to be released report from Environment California, San
Francisco has the largest amount of solar rooftops per capita of any large
California city. Currently, San Francisco has 1,350 solar roofs totaling
7,050 mw of solar power, ranking San Francisco third, behind Los Angeles
and San Diego, in terms of sheer numbers of solar roofs. But, on a per
capita basis, San Francisco has approximately six times more solar roofs
than Los Angeles, despite Southern California receiving more sun.
“The success of our solar energy incentive program in just its first year
has helped catapult San Francisco into a leading solar city in California,”
said SFPUC General Manager Ed Harrington. “GoSolarSF is proof that, with
added incentives, people will enthusiastically embrace solar power and give
a boost to California’s environment and economy.”
“Way to go San Francisco!” said Bernadette Del Chiaro, clean energy
advocate for Environment California. “It is San Francisco’s exceptional
leadership in promoting solar power that is making this city a solar power
leader in the state and country.”
“Sunwheel Energy Partners, an affiliate of McCormack Baron Salazar, is
proud to partner with the San Francisco Housing Authority to bring solar
energy to those who can least afford the cost of electricity,” said Tony
Salazar, President of McCormack Baron Salazar.
“As San Francisco works to become a leader in renewable energy generation,
the San Francisco Housing Authority will do its part to green our public
housing sites,” said Executive Director, Henry Alvarez.

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2 Responses to “Photovoltaic Solar Panels Coming to San Francisco’s Public Housing Projects”

  1. Slappy Frogg says:

    Yikes…my first thought was: wonder how long until they are torn down and stolen!

  2. Rogr from Solr Powr Facts says:

    I think this is a great step forward, and it shows yet again how far ahead California is compared to the rest of the country.

    Whether this project will work in the long term can’t be determined now as building lifespan and damage / theft will all play a part, but this has to be worth a go.