A Mystery Solved: Windmills are Back in Civic Center – “Sustainability Resource District” Kicks Off With 600 Watt Generators

Remember this mystery from yesterday? Well, turns out it’s just the Civic Center Sustainability District getting started.

Here it is, a “vertical axis wind turbine.” Or, a windmill, your choice:

All the deets, after the jump

MAYOR NEWSOM ANNOUNCES NEW WIND AND SOLAR-POWERED HYBRID STREETLIGHT DEMONSTRATION PROJECT IN CIVIC CENTER PLAZA
Vision for Proposed Civic Center Sustainability District Takes Shape with Hybrid Streetlights, $790K USEPA Grant and Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

San Francisco, CA – Mayor Gavin Newsom today announced the installation of the City’s first four state-of-the-art wind and solar powered hybrid LED streetlights in Civic Center Plaza as part of a pilot demonstration project installed by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC). The hybrid streetlight demonstration project, along with other initiatives underway, is another step towards realizing the Civic Center Sustainability District announced by Mayor Newsom and former President Bill Clinton in 2008.

“The Civic Center Sustainability District seeks to showcase cutting-edge environmental technologies, energy efficiency and renewable energy projects all within the context of our historic Civic Center Plaza,” said Mayor Newsom. “This new hybrid streetlight pilot project is another step towards achieving our vision of a model, sustainable public square that harnesses the power of the wind and sun to deliver an essential government service.”

The new hybrid LED streetlights will reduce energy consumption at Civic Center Plaza by 1400 kilowatt hours per year and offset the equivalent of 1516 lbs of CO2 per year.  The lights, manufactured by Urban Green Energy, are comprised of a 600 watt vertical axis wind turbine, along with an 80 watt photovoltaic solar generation module, both of which are mounted on the light pole.  The power produced by the operation of the wind turbine and the solar module will be used to charge a battery pack, which will then power the streetlight during its dusk and nighttime operation. The renewable power is stored in a battery, with a 5 or 7 day storage capacity.

“Sanya is being recognized as the future of street lights and we at Urban Green Energy can see no better place for the first U.S. Installation than in San Francisco, a city with the most forward-thinking views on green technology and sustainability,” said Nick Blitterswyk, CEO of Urban Green Energy. “We are honored to take part in the City’s effort to become a model for sustainability.”

The installation of the hybrid streetlights at Civic Center Plaza will also complement the upcoming citywide LED Streetlight Conversion Program. Beginning in the spring of 2011, the SFPUC will replace approximately 18,500 high-pressure sodium streetlights in San Francisco with dimmable Light Emitting Diode (LED) streetlights. The LED conversion program will provide substantial environmental, financial and economic benefits to the entire City, reducing energy and maintenance costs by $900,000 annually and saving 5,800 megawatt hours/year – the equivalent of taking approximately 950 houses off the grid.

“The hybrid LED streetlights in Civic Center Plaza are just the first step in a comprehensive streetlight upgrade coming to San Francisco, said SFPUC General Manager Ed Harrington. “Our new LED streetlights and the Civic Center hybrid streetlights will save ratepayers dollars and demonstrate sensible, environmentally-friendly technologies like wind power, solar power and LED lighting.”

Civic Center Sustainability District Takes Shape

As of 2010, San Francisco has completed initial physical improvements to the Civic Center Sustainability District while promoting resource efficiencies, such as electric vehicle charging stations, free Wi-Fi, and art installations. The City has completed energy efficiency and water usage audits for buildings within the Civic Center Sustainability District; partnered with a national organization to establish a community urban agriculture garden; created corridor cultural and economic development; and utilized federal stimulus funding for a green transformation of an existing key building on the United Nations Plaza, while providing jobs locally.

The goals of the Civic Center Sustainability District are to reduce community carbon footprint by 2,225 tons annually, the equivalent of annual greenhouse gas emissions of 1,286 San Francisco households, and a 33% annual energy reduction. Specifically, the District has shown potential to reduce its burden on the City’s power system by about 35%, water system by up to 80%, and its wastewater treatment system by up to 45%, as well as to improve and incorporate demonstration elements on the District’s signature spaces such as the Civic Center Plaza and the United Nations Plaza.

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4 Responses to “A Mystery Solved: Windmills are Back in Civic Center – “Sustainability Resource District” Kicks Off With 600 Watt Generators”

  1. [...] city of San Francisco recently installed the hybrid lights as part of Mayor Gavin Newsom’s sustainable civic center efforts. More recently, Chaskel said, they were installed in about five sites in Pusan, South Korea. They [...]

  2. [...] The city of San Francisco recently installed the hybrid lights as part of Mayor Gavin Newsom’s sustainable civic center efforts. More recently, Chaskel said, they were installed in about five sites in Pusan, South Korea. They [...]

  3. [...] San Francisco’s then-mayor, Gavin Newsom, recently announced their installation in his “civic center sustainability” district, an area of the city surrounding the City [...]

  4. [...] city of San Francisco recently installed the hybrid lights as part of Mayor Gavin Newsom’s sustainable civic center efforts. More recently, Chaskel said, they were installed in about five sites in Pusan, South Korea. They [...]