Mayor Faulconer: Major solar power pact will save taxpayers millions

New agreement will cut energy costs by 45 percent, make infrastructure smarter and more efficient

Photo of Mayor Faulconer at news conference

San Diego - Continuing his efforts to make City government more innovative and efficient, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer and City Councilmembers Mark Kersey and Lorie Zapf today announced a 20-year agreement with SunEdison to put solar energy installations on 25 City sites.

The solar installations will be made at recreation centers, libraries, parking lots and police and fire stations in neighborhoods across the City and save roughly $22 million in energy costs at those facilities over the course of the agreement, cutting energy costs by 45 percent. The City Council's Infrastructure Committee voted Wednesday to send the agreement to the full City Council for a vote.

"This is about using our infrastructure to its fullest potential and using public resources to save taxpayer money," Mayor Faulconer said. "Libraries, recreation centers and police and fire stations are hubs for community engagement, and now they will be hubs for green energy."

SunEdison will own, install, operate and maintain the solar photovoltaic systems for the duration of the 20-year agreement. The City in turn will purchase the solar energy and the 25 sites will generate about six megawatts of solar energy.

Based on the current rate of escalation for electricity, energy costs for those 25 sites would have been about $48 million over 20 years. The estimated cost for an equivalent amount of electricity under this solar agreement is $26 million - a savings of roughly $22 million.

"By going solar, the City will harness the power of San Diego's sunshine in order to save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars each year," said Councilmember Kersey, Chair of the City's Infrastructure Committee. "Those savings can help fund additional facility improvements and city services."

The goal of the City's draft Climate Action Plan is to have all electricity used in the City to be from renewable sources by 2035.

"Over the next 20 years, the installation of these solar panels will save the City over $20 million dollars," said Councilmember Zapf, a member of the Infrastructure Committee. "These are dollars that can be reinvested back into our neighborhoods and infrastructure while helping us achieve the goals of our Climate Action Plan."

The City has also identified 40 additional sites that could host solar installations for a possible second phase of this project.

Below is a list of the 25 City sites that will receive solar installations under this agreement.

  • Carmel Valley Recreation Center Rooftop & Parking Lot
  • Central Division Police Station Parking Garage Parking Lot
  • Central Ops Yard Employee Parking Lot
  • Chollas Yard Employee Parking Lot
  • City Concourse Rooftop
  • Eastern Division Police Station Parking Lot
  • Environmental Services Miramar Ops Center Employee Parking Lot
  • Fire Repair Facility Rooftop
  • Fleet/Police Vehicle Maintenance Facility Rooftop
  • Inspiration Point Parking Lot (Balboa Park)
  • Malcolm X Library Parking Lot
  • Mission Trails Regional Nature & Visitor Center Parking Lot
  • Mission Valley Library Parking Lot
  • Mountain View Community Center Rooftop
  • Northern Division Police Station Rooftop & Parking Lot
  • Park de la Cruz Recreation Center Rooftop & Parking Lot
  • Point Loma Library Rooftop
  • Police Headquarters Parking Lot
  • Rancho Bernardo Senior Center Parking Lot
  • Rose Canyon Employee Parking Lot
  • Serra Mesa/Kearny Mesa Library Parking Lot
  • Southern Division Police Station Rooftop
  • Tierrasanta Community Pool Parking Lot
  • Western Division Police Station Parking Lot

CONTACT: Craig Gustafson at (619) 453-9880 or [email protected]