Feds help city with renewable energy aim

Federal stimulus funds will help The City install micro-hydroelectricity turbines and rooftop solar panels.

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission secured low-interest loans for three renewable energy projects under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, power official Barbara Hale said during a recent commission hearing.

The projects include a $2.5 million hydroelectric plant built inside piping at the University Mound Reservoir, which provides drinking water to eastern districts of The City.

If the 200-kilowatt hydroelectric plant proves successful, similar plants could be built throughout The City’s water network, Hale said.

The 1.5 percent interest rate loans will also be used to pay for a $2.6 million solar panel array on Davies Symphony Hall and a $1.5 million array on City Hall. Each project might provide 10 percent of the building’s energy needs, Hale said.

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