New Jersey could serve as solar energy model for SF

New Jersey’s power company, Public Service Electric and Gas Company, is gaining a lot of attention for its “highly visible solar project consisting of solar panels mounted on utility poles,” according to a report that the Local Agency Formation Commission will hear Friday at 2 p.m., at City Hall in Room 250. “The project has garnered national attention for its large scope and for providing a creative approach to locally-generated solar energy.”

Could this be a model for San Francisco?

The New Jersey power company has a program underway to install 200 watt solar energy units on 200,000 utility poles and street lights by 2012. Once installed, the solar system “is expected to provide 40 megawatts of clean energy, enough to power approximately 40,000 homes.”

It is the “largest pole-attached solar installation in the world” and the power company has a $200 million contact with New Jersey-based Petra Solar.

The solar pole units cost about $1,000 each.

“Streetlights, traffic lights and other poles The City owns all present potential opportunities for solar mounts,” the report said. “Having in-city solar could also save The City money by decreasing wheeling costs usually paid to PG&E for transmitting energy into San Francisco.”

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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