Wednesday, September 24, 2008

County's latest solar system is largest

County's latest solar system is largest
By Ian Thompson | Daily Republic | September 24, 2008

In an effort to save on energy costs, new solar panels stretching the length of bus parking lots were installed near the Solano Correctional Facilities in Fairfield. Photo by Mike Greener

FAIRFIELD - Tuesday was a perfect time to dedicate a solar array capable of generating 746,000 watts of electrical power.

'Hopefully, we are making money now,' Solano County Supervisor John Vasquez said in reference to the sunny weather.

County supervisors, Fairfield-Suisun School Board members and representatives of Honeywell Building Solutions and PG&E dedicated the solar array, which will generate nearly 1.2 million kilowatt-hours of energy each year.

The array covers part of the school district's bus yard, providing an additional benefit of shade for the fleet.

The solar panels will provide 60 percent of the electricity needs for the adjacent Claybank Jail, and county officials estimated the array will save more than $1 million in energy costs during the next 20 years.

Those savings could go to county-sponsored crime prevention programs, Supervisor John Silva said.

'It will reduce our dependency on those foreign folks who charge us a lot of money,' Vasquez said.

The county now has three solar arrays, and the latest is the largest. The county also has a 230,000-watt array on the roof of the Health and Social Services building on Beck Avenue and a 120,000-watt array on the County Government Center's parking structure.

See the complete story at the Daily Republic online.