Posts Tagged ‘Reservoir’

The Bald Eagles are Coming, the Bald Eagles are Coming Back to San Francisco! From Santa Clara, San Mateo, and Marin

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

Start off here at Bluoz and then you’ll be able to link through to HawkManStan and others.

Here’s the latest, from Santa Clara County:

Via John K at Calaveras Reservoir – click to expand

What can I say but that it’s Bald Eagle Watch time, baby?

Dese boids are coming in from the north and from the south.

When will we have a nesting pair here in San Francisco?

Ridiculous Front-Loaded 25-Year Solar Project is a Go in San Francisco

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

This project doesn’t make sense without the money from the Feds.

This project doesn’t make sense WITH money from the Feds.

What makes this project “front loaded” is that the primary benefit appears to be the ability to distribute the press release below today, as opposed to a few months or years from now. Enjoy.

Somewhere under all that soup below Sutro Tower will go the photovoltaic panels:

Supervisor Chris Daly, who favored a second look at the details this scheme, says that he won’t come back eight years from now to say “I told you so.”

But don’t hold him to that come 2017.

                          *** PRESS RELEASE ***
 Mayor Newsom Hails Approval of California’s Largest Solar Photovoltaic
                    Installation at Sunset Reservoir
  5 MW Project Will More than Triple San Francisco’s Total Solar Energy
                                 Output
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Mayor Gavin Newsom today lauded the Board of
Supervisors’ approval of a five megawatt (MW) solar installation for the
roof of the Sunset Reservoir in San Francisco. When completed in 2010, the
project will be California’s largest solar photovoltaic (PV) installation
and more than triple San Francisco’s total municipal solar energy output
from 2 MW today to 7 MW. The Board’s approval of a 25-year contract between
the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and San
Francisco-based Recurrent Energy will deliver clean, renewable solar power
for City municipal services and facilities, including public schools, San
Francisco International Airport, SF General Hospital, Muni and more. The
project will also create more than 70 local green jobs, including at least
21 jobs for individuals in the City’s workforce development programs.
“Today San Francisco took another major step towards achieving our
commitments to reduce greenhouse gases and grow our green economy,” said
Mayor Newsom, who sponsored the legislation. “With this single project, we
will more than triple San Francisco’s solar energy production, build
California’s largest photovoltaic system, and help lead the state towards a
future of clean, renewable energy.”
“I’m proud that my district will soon be home to California’s largest solar
PV installation,” said Supervisor Carmen Chu, who co-sponsored the
legislation with Mayor Newsom, and whose district includes the 8-square
block Sunset Reservoir, the City’s largest. “I want to thank the
environmental community, my colleagues on the Board, the SFPUC and
Recurrent Energy for forging this smart public-private partnership that
will rapidly expand our green power resources.”
The agreement between the SFPUC and Recurrent Energy leverages a 30%
federal tax credit available only to the private sector through a “Power
Purchase Agreement” (PPA) to dramatically lower project costs. Over the 25
year life of the contract, the City estimates that the power purchased from
the project will cost $50.3 million, $36 million less than the lifetime
cost of $86.3 million had the City built and financed the system
themselves. Under the agreement, Recurrent Energy also assumes all the risk
of financing, building and operating the project. The SFPUC is only
responsible for purchasing the solar power produced at a competitive rate.
The measure was also co-sponsored by Supervisors Bevan Dufty, Michela
Alioto-Pier, and Eric Mar.
“With this agreement San Francisco can continue to be a leader in
developing the solar energy markets while taking concrete steps towards
meeting our renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals,” said
SFPUC General Manager Ed Harrington.
“Recurrent Energy is proud to partner with the City of San Francisco to
create local green jobs now and deliver clean solar public power for the
future,” said Recurrent Energy’s CEO, Arno Harris.

Oh well.

Giant Cartoon Map of the San Francisco Water System – Where’s Your Tank?

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

As promised, A Giant Cartoon Map of the San Francisco Water System, from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

Click on it to swim around and see where your tasty San Francisco wawa comes from. What’s that you say, what about lead and stuff? Well they test for that all the time, Silly Billy. What’s that you say, what about the lead solder that’s in the pipes in your building? Well, one thing you can do is let your water run for a bit to minimise exposure to the lead that’s leached into the water sitting in the pipes. It can’t hoit.

A lovely illustration from the late great Phil Frank.

Anyway, click expand.

Does San Francisco Really Want to Build a Solar Plant in the Foggy Sunset?

Monday, May 4th, 2009

The proposed Sunset Reservoir Solar Project from Recurrent Energy is in the news lately. I understand how photovoltaic cells can work even in the fog, but fog can have a big impact on solar electric production, right? Does our unique climate play a role in the decision of where to build this thing? 

Now of course, our cemeteries are outside the city limits, as is SFO for that matter. Is this public/private partnership is the best we can come up with?  

The dreary Sunset District, yesterday, 1:00 PM:

Let’s see if the FAQ helps:

Why doesn’t the City build the system?
Pending Board of Supervisors approval in first quarter of 2009, the project would be on track to begin construction in the summer of 2009 and complete in first quarter of 2010.

Is that a responsive answer?

Why was this location selected?
This location was chosen because it is one of the largest reservoirs and rooftops owned by the city. The recent seismic upgrade of the roof over the Sunset Reservoir’s north basin makes it strong enough for the installation of solar panels. While located in the Sunset district, the solar resource is still very good, on average only 15% lower than the sunniest areas of the City.

Again, is that a responsive answer? We have to build solar on rooftops and reservoirs because…why?

Why does the system need to be located within the city?
The City needs electricity generated inside San Francisco. Starting in 1998, the City made efforts to shutter old polluting power plants within San Francisco. In 2006, Hunter’s Point power plant was permanently closed and subsequently demolished. The Potrero Hill power plant was also under discussion for closure, but the California Independent System Operator (Cal-ISO) has determined that the Potrero Hills [yes, "Hills" - howdy stranger, welcome to San Francisco!] power plant cannot be decommissioned until new transmission or generation is added within San Francisco. This project will add much needed generation to the City of San Francisco.

So this tiny little project, which will produce something like 1% of the juice generated by the Mirant plant, is a kind of substitute for the Mirant plant? Really?

Perhaps the lowest bidder didn’t come in low enough?