San Jose’s central service yard, which houses the city’s municipal vehicles and provides city storage, has a new 1.24MW solar system. On hand to officially activate the system was San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and officials from DRI Energy, the company responsible for the design and construction of the solar system. Constructed on both the facility’s rooftop and as canopy’s for the parking area, the solar project will produce over 1.8 million kWh of solar energy every year with its 5,614 Yingli Green Energy solar modules.
“This project brings us one step closer to our Green Vision goal of receiving 100% of our electricity from clean, renewable sources,” San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed said. “The City will also be able to reduce long-term energy costs at the Central Service Yard, without spending any money on the upfront capital investment.”
The city of San Jose will buy the energy produced on the site from Sun Edison at predictable rates for 20-years as is specified under a signed PPA. San Jose was not responsible for any up front capital costs for the solar system and is expecting to save over US$900,000 in the systems maintenance-free lifetime. Sun Edison will manage the financing, operation and maintain the system.
San José’s Economic Development Officer, Steven Brewster, elaborated on why renewable energy and solar projects such as the 1.24MW project at the central service yard is beneficial, explaining, “The liabilities of fossil fuel usage are increasingly plain. Future scarcity or restrictions in supply may cause them to be too expensive or unreliable; combustion of fossil fuels creates air pollutants that can harm public health; and resulting carbon dioxide emissions are likely to increase future operating costs through a tax or other financial liability. In contrast, pursuing electrical power from clean, renewable sources is projected to reduce harmful air pollutants, long-term operating costs, and carbon emissions for the entire community.”