Major solar project sees light of day

Mayor Gavin Newsom flipped the switch Tuesday on the completed Sunset Reservoir Solar Project, the largest municipally operated solar installation in California.

The 24,000 solar panels covering an area equivalent to 12 football fields have led Newsom to expand his goal for The City’s green plan, calling for 100 percent of San Francisco’s electricity to be drawn from renewable sources by the year 2020.

“It may sound audacious to some and ridiculous to others but it’s absolutely achievable from our perspective,” Newsom said in Tuesday’s press conference. “The extraordinary work we’ve done on energy efficiency with 45 megawatts of energy saved in our efficiency programs is just barely scratching the surface. I’m absolutely confident that we can get there. I look forward to being a big partner for The City and helping to steward that process.”

Newsom announced on Tuesday that the Sidney Frank Foundation awarded The City with a $250,000 grant to develop an implementation plan over the next 12 months to achieve the renewable energy goal. During the next two weeks, Newsom will create a “Renewable Energy Task Force,” which will be headed by the San Francisco Environment Department.   

According to San Francisco Environment Director Melanie Nutter, The City will achieve its goal by generating power through alternative energy sources like solar, wind and wave power.

 “I tell you it’s a good time to be Lieutenant Governor because I’m on the Ocean Protection Council and I’ll be Chair of the State Lands Commission,” said Newsom. “We will get the ocean power project done off the coast of Ocean Beach with up to 100 megawatts on the high-end of our potential power generation.” 

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