Green Initiatives

 

In May 2011, the District's first solar project went online. The project is located on Sacramento Street near White Slough.

The system was custom engineered by Real Goods for installation on top of the existing in-ground flood control tank. Real Goods also installed a custom security system and new wrought iron fence for the perimeter as well as web-based monitoring to monitor performance.

The system consists of 744 photovoltaic modules, coupled with two large inverters and is rated at 226,920 watts DC. It will generate approximately 350,000 kilowatt hours per year.

How does it work? The panels create energy by converting light particles, or photons, into electricity. The electricity produced is direct current (DC). The DC current is converted to alternating current (AC) power by the inverters.

Solar System Monitor

This power is fed into the electric grid and the utility gives the District a credit for the power they generate. At the end of the year the bill is trued up between production and consumption and the net yearly electric bill will be about $50,000-70,000 less than previous years. The lifetime savings are substantial.

The environmental benefits are also large. This system will offset over 7,200 tons of CO2 (20,00 cubic feet of gas), which is the equivalent of planting over 120 acres of trees or taking 62 cars off the road for 25 years (23 million miles not driven).