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Brea to Cut City’s Energy Use 40%

The city of Brea, California, expects to reduce the city’s energy use by 40 percent with the start of an energy efficiency and solar project with Chevron Energy Solutions. The city estimates it will save more than $13 million in net energy savings over the life of the project, helping the city meet early compliance with the goals of the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act, also known as AB 32.

Chevron says Brea will become the largest municipal producer of solar energy in Orange County once the 1.8-megawatt (MW) of solar panels are installed at the Community Center, Civic and Cultural Center and Reservoir City Pump Yard.

Chevron Energy Solutions designed the solar systems and will build, install, and manage the systems for the city. Chevron also will implement a citywide street lighting upgrade and interior and exterior lighting retrofits and improvements to heating, ventilating, air conditioning and energy management controls. The project is expected to be completed in 2011.

The solar and energy efficiency improvements will generate savings to pay for the infrastructure costs.

By reducing its purchase of utility power, the city also expects to reduce carbon emissions by more than 86,000 metric tons. In addition, the solar power at the Reservoir City Pump Yard will help mitigate future pumping costs to the city.

In other solar news in California, the city of Corona unveiled its first solar-powered bus stop that powers a nearby intersection and feeds power back into the city grid, reports The Press-Enterprise. The six solar panels affixed to the bus stop generate 1,114 watts per hour, according to Solade Concepts, which headed the project.

Andrew Ferrick, owner of Solade Concepts, told the newspaper that Pomona, San Diego and Germany are looking into using the technology. He is currently studying the amount of energy the system produces and delivers to the grid.

The city says the project will likely cover the majority of the $100 it costs per month to run the intersection.

In New Jersey, which rivals California in solar projects, PSE&G has started to install solar panels on utility poles and street lights near businesses and residential neighborhoods in Hillsborough, as part of the company’s “Solar 4 All” program launched in July 2009, reports myCentralJersey.com.

The goal of the project is to install 200,000 pole-attached solar energy units in PSE&G’s service territory. PSE&G told the news site that solar panels are being installed in the state’s six largest cities and in about 300 rural and suburban communities.

In addition, the utility plans to provide “centralized solar,” solar gardens and roof-top installations on facilities the company owns, as well as third-party-owned sites, according to the article. Installations are expected to be completed by the end of 2013.

The electricity generated by the units will be connected directly into PSE&G’s electric distribution system. The utility will receive federal tax credits and solar renewable credits for this generation.

Thanks to the state’s solar renewable-energy certificate program solar installations are on the rise with commercial installations accounting for 57 percent of the program.

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