Thursday, October 28, 2010

After 30 years Solano County has new roadway

Solano County has new roadway
Posted: 10/28/2010 01:06:10 AM PDT

The first major infrastructure project in Solano County is completed and will be available to drivers soon.
Intended to divert intracounty traffic off of Interstate 80, the North Connector was created and completed.

State government officials joined with local government leaders and the Solano Transportation Authority on Wednesday to celebrate its completion.

"If we don't start working together, we will not be able to deliver projects like this," said Supervisor Jim Spering standing on the bridge that crosses over Suisun Creek. "It's an investment in the future."

The new four-mile stretch of road connects Chadbourne Road/Highway 12 to Suisun Valley Road. It's a four-lane road, two in each direction, with a landscaped median separation.

"The greater good will be served by pulling traffic off of I-80," said Fairfield Mayor Harry Price.

The project was a joint effort by several different parties including Solano County, the city of Fairfield and Garaventa Properties.

Total funding from the project was $62 million. Of that, $26 million came from Regional Measure 2 funds from bridge tolls.

"What a good thing that has happened here," said Rep. John Garamendi, D-Solano. "Now you can get from here to there. You can't get from there to here over there on I-80."

He added that the new stretch of road is a crucial investment that will pay off year, after year.

State Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Solano, agreed.

She explained that it's important


to be ready for when the economy catches up and because of the completed project, Solano County is ready.
She added that there are several benefits, one of which is it will streamline commutes.

Other benefits include providing 1.7 miles of continuous bike paths between Chadbourne Road and Suisun Creek as part of the Solano Bikeway Network and provides roadway and bike access to Solano Community College, businesses and residences.

It also provides a new wetlands habitat and storm water detention basin to control localized flooding. The road, according to officials, will provide a frontage road along I-80 that will particularly benefit emergency vehicles when there is a problem on the freeway.

Price shared with the group in keeping with the Halloween season that there actually are bats living and thriving underneath the new Suisun Creek bridge.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The City of Fairfield recently closed escrow on 11.05 acres with Lowe's

The City of Fairfield recently closed escrow on 11.05 acres with Lowe's for a planned store opening in 2011. This activity and the opening of the Walmart Supercenter has spurred interest in other City-owned parcels...see below. Contact us if you have interest in these properties.
Lowe's - Fairfield, CA
• + 11.05 acres
• High traffic location
• Pylon signage available
• Highly visible from I-80
• Owner: City of Fairfield
• Zoning: (CR) Regional Commercial

Saturday, October 23, 2010

City of Fairfield celebrating transportation accomplishment & new auto store opening

Celebrating transportation accomplishments, new store opening

By Sean Quinn | | October 22, 2010 19:41

Since 1998, the Solano Transportation Authority has recognized individuals,
programs, activities, and projects that have contributed to improving the
quality of life in Solano County by delivering transportation projects that
ensure mobility, travel safety, and economic vitality.

Our Public Works Department has submitted nominations to the STA in a number
of categories. In reading the completed nomination forms, I had a chance to
reflect on all the work that has been accomplished this past year. Let's
celebrate their accomplishments:

The team responsible for delivering all of the city's capital improvement
projects consists of three engineers and three inspectors. In 2010, this
team will advertise and award nine transportation projects valued at an
estimated $5.9 million and will complete nine additional transportation
projects worth a total of $54.6 million. These projects range in size, with
the largest estimated at $26 million and the smallest valued at $145,000.

Transportation projects represent only a portion of the city's total capital
improvement program, which also includes capital projects for water, sewer,
drainage, parks, and public buildings. The ability to complete this volume
of projects is particularly noteworthy given that Fairfield, on average, has
historically completed 10 projects per year with an average annual total
value of $8 million.

Transportation projects that have recently been completed or are nearing
completion are the North Texas Street/Interstate 80 interchange, North
Connector, and McGary Road projects. These three projects will greatly
enhance our quality of life and set the foundation for a vibrant local

The North Connector and McGary Road projects are vital links that now make
it possible for bicyclists to connect to Vallejo and the rest of the Bay
Area. For automobiles, these two projects are especially important as they
provide alternative routes to I-80. Of note, McGary Road is part of the Bay
Area Ridge Trail network and links hiking trails in Solano County to trails
throughout the Bay Area and provides better access for Fairfield residents
to Lynch Canyon.

The North Texas Street/I-80 Interchange Project, which I have written about
in past columns, is a source of economic vitality in our community. In
addition to the future Lowe's, with the interchange and related roadwork
completed, the city is generating considerable interest in development
opportunities in the area. Stay tuned for future announcements.

Projects under construction that will have a lasting impact on our community
include the Red Top Road Park and Ride Lot and Auto Mall Parkway
Reconstruction and Widening projects.

The Red Top Road Park and Ride Lot project consists of the construction of a
220-space surface parking lot across from Sunnyside Dairy for residents to
connect to regional mass transit and ride sharing opportunities. The park
and ride lot will also help facilitate the first phase of the
I-80/Interstate 680 improvements.

The Auto Mall Parkway Reconstruction and Widening project consists of
improving an old county road, which is a key segment of Auto Mall Parkway.
The auto mall is a key economic engine in our community and has consistently
generated a significant amount of the city's sales taxes.

Regardless of the outcome of the STA annual awards, I want to draw attention
to the success of our Public Works Department.

Finally, on the economic front, if you haven't visited North Texas Street
lately, you will be surprised to see that our newest addition, Wal-Mart, is
nearing completion. The 200,000-square-foot store, which is located at the
corner of North Texas Street and Atlantic Avenue, is anticipated to open
this fall.

City leaders hope the new store will have a positive impact on the
surrounding area by generating traffic and reinvestment. In addition, later
this year and early next year, Wal-Mart will be sponsoring two small
business seminars that will be coordinated by the Small Business Development
Center on what it takes to compete with large retailers.

Sean Quinn is city manager of Fairfield.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

7 Competitive Ready MPEG 4 Mike Ammann Comments on new Economic Development Service

UC Davis launches world’s 'greenest' winery, brewery and foods facility

UC Davis launches world’s 'greenest' winery, brewery and foods facility

October 5, 2010

Students work on the fall crush in the new winery, brewery and food-processing complex. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis photo)

The two wings of the new complex house facilities for four food and beverage centers (click to view the full floor plan).
A newly completed winery, brewery and food-processing complex at the University of California, Davis, is set to begin operations as the most environmentally sophisticated complex of its kind in the world, one that promises to unravel scientific enigmas and solve practical problems related to foods, beverages and health.

The $20 million, 34,000-square-foot teaching-and-research complex is expected to be the first winery, brewery or food-processing facility to earn LEED Platinum certification, the highest environmental rating awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council. (LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.) It is intended to become self-sustainable in energy and water use after all of its features come on line.

“This new complex showcases UC Davis’ commitment to environmental excellence,” said Chancellor Linda Katehi. “It embodies our vision to serve as a catalyst for sustainable economic development and social progress in California and beyond.”

Neal Van Alfen, dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis, added, “The new facility raises the bar for environmental design and construction of laboratory and processing buildings within the University of California.

“It also will serve as a model for industries throughout the nation that are also committed both to environmental excellence and production efficiency,” he said.

The south wing of the new one-story complex is home to the August A. Busch III Brewing and Food Science Laboratory, which includes, a brewery, general foods-processing plant and milk-processing laboratory. The complex’s north wing houses a new teaching-and-research winery. Construction was completed in July, and wine grape crush and brewing have begun at the complex, with some equipment yet to be purchased or moved in.

The complex was designed and built to be UC Davis’ second LEED Platinum building and only the third in the University of California system. The other two are UC Davis’ Tahoe Center for the Environmental Sciences in Incline Village, Nev., and UC Santa Barbara’s Bren Hall.

The new complex was funded entirely by private donations; no state or federal funds were used in its design or construction.

It was designed by a team of architects, engineers and builders including BNB Norcal of San Mateo, Flad Architects of San Francisco, F.M. Booth Mechanical, Red Top Electric, KPW Structural Engineers, Creegan + D’Angelo Civil Engineers and HLA Landscape Architects.

The complex is adjacent to a new 12-acre teaching-and-research vineyard and is located within the campus’s Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science.

The institute, which opened in 2008, comprises three academic buildings that house the Department of Food Science and Technology and the Department of Viticulture and Enology. (Design and construction of those academic buildings, which total 129,600 square feet, cost $73 million, paid for by a combination of state and private funds. The campus did not apply for LEED certification on the three academic buildings.)

LEED Platinum environmental design

The new winery, brewery and food-processing complex was designed to serve as a test bed for production processes and techniques that conserve water, energy and other vital resources.

Its environmentally friendly features include onsite solar power generation and a large-capacity system for capturing rainwater and conserving processing water. The stored rainwater will be used for landscaping and toilets, per LEED specifications.

UC Davis is raising funds to complete an auxiliary building to house equipment that will make it possible to capture, store and recycle rainwater, which will be used in an automated system to clean barrels, tanks and fermentors. The proposed system would reuse 90 percent of the captured rainwater volume.

“We want to demonstrate a self-sufficiency model that is applicable to any business with limited water,” said Roger Boulton, a winery-engineering expert and the Stephen Sinclair Scott Endowed Chair in Enology at UC Davis. He noted that plans call for eventually operating the facility independent of the main campus water line.

Additionally, the winery has been designed to capture carbon dioxide, a natural byproduct of fermentation, from a port in each of the new fermentors. An innovative process will be used to remove the carbon dioxide from the winery, reducing the building’s energy requirements for air quality and temperature control. Plans call for eventually capturing and storing the carbon dioxide produced by the winery, so that it will not contribute to global warming.

“The goal is for the facility to be not just carbon neutral, but carbon zero, in terms of its carbon emissions,” Boulton said.

Other environmentally responsible features include maximum use of natural light, rooftop photovoltaic cells to provide all of the facility’s power at peak load, new food-processing equipment that minimizes energy and water requirements, use of recycled glass in the flooring, interior paneling recycled from a 1928 wooden aqueduct, and use of lumber harvested from sustainably certified forest operations.

High-tech processing systems

A technological capstone for the facility will be the world’s first wireless wine-fermentation system, a $1 million assembly of 152 wireless grape fermentors, designed, fabricated and donated by a team of research engineers led by T.J. Rodgers, founder, president and chief executive officer of San Jose, Calif.-based Cypress Semiconductor.

Each of the 200-liter, electro-polished, stainless steel fermentors is individually equipped for automated control of temperature and the “pump-over” process, controlling two of the most important factors in determining final wine characteristics and quality.

Additionally, newly designed fermentor sensors frequently and precisely extract and transmit sugar-concentration data from white and red fermentations across a wireless network. Data from the sensors can be generated every 15 minutes with a precision of 0.25 Brix, a measure of sugar content.

When completed, the winery is expected to contain one of the largest wireless networks in any fermentation facility in the world.

Meanwhile, the new brewery will provide a showcase for the latest in brewing technology, as well as a sophisticated laboratory for conducting research and training students in the science of brewing. It also is intended to provide commercial brewers and suppliers with a small-scale facility in which they can test new recipes or processes.

Good enough to eat

The general foods- and milk-processing laboratories have been designed and built to meet state and federal food- and dairy-grade standards, meaning that the products processed there are fit for human consumption during sensory and nutritional evaluations.

The food-processing pilot plant will facilitate research on a variety of topics including alternative food-processing methods and their nutritional effects; nutritional quality and shelf life of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables; nutritional enhancements from food-processing “waste” products; and improved food formulations.

The milk-processing laboratory will support research in a variety of areas including separation of milk components into functional ingredients, processing of milk that has been modified by the type of feed provided to the cows, and processing of milk from cows that were bred for specific characteristics.

Individual donors make vision a reality

Dozens of private donors contributed funds to make the new complex a reality, beginning with a $5 million contribution in 2001 from the late winemaker, Robert Mondavi, followed in 2002 by a $5 million pledge by the Anheuser-Busch Foundation.

Other major donations were made by Ronald and Diane Miller and by a group of winery partners led by Jess Jackson and his wife Barbara Banke of Kendall-Jackson Wines, and Jerry Lohr of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines. That group of winery partners secured the funds necessary to design and construct the facility to LEED Platinum standards.

California tomato processors and growers also came together to contribute more than $2.5 million to the food-processing pilot plant, recognizing the important role that the Department of Food Science and Technology has played in the industry and the future potential for training students and conducting research at the new complex. The Woodland, Calif.-based Morning Star Packing Company provided a lead gift of $1 million for the food-processing plant.

In all, more than 150 individuals, alumni, corporations and foundations contributed funds to make the new winery, brewery and food-processing complex a reality. These included major contributions from the Department of Viticulture and Enology’s Board of Visitors and Fellows.

About the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology

Established in 1880 by California legislative mandate, the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology has been at the forefront of international grape and wine innovation for 130 years. The department partners with the California grape and wine industry through research, public service and equipping students with both scientific knowledge and practical skills.

The department includes 14 faculty members and enrolls 100 undergraduate students and 40 graduate students.

More information about the department and the new winery is available online at

About the Department of Food Science and Technology

The Department of Food Science and Technology represents one of the oldest disciplines at UC Davis, evolving from studies in winemaking and dairy food production at UC Berkeley in the early 1900s. The current department is home to 200 undergraduate students and approximately 50 graduate students. The majority of the graduates from this program are now working in the food industry or related industries in California and elsewhere.

The department has 25 faculty members who are involved in international collaborations in 20 nations throughout the world. Its historical strengths are in engineering, chemistry and biochemistry, microbiology, food safety, and sensory and consumer sciences.

It is developing new areas of specialty focused on foods for health; food and culture; the relationship between food-borne diseases and the environment; and the processing of food products at the microscopic level, using techniques known as microencapsulation and nanoencapsulation.

About UC Davis

For more than 100 years, UC Davis has engaged in teaching, research and public service that matter to California and transform the world. Located close to the state capital, UC Davis has 32,000 students, an annual research budget that exceeds $600 million, a comprehensive health system and 13 specialized research centers. The university offers interdisciplinary graduate study and more than 100 undergraduate majors in four colleges — Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences, Engineering, and Letters and Science. It also houses six professional schools — Education, Law, Management, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing.

Media contact(s):

Pat Bailey, UC Davis News Service, (530) 752-9843,

SMUD to boost capacity at Solano wind farm

Friday, September 10, 2010
SMUD to boost capacity at Solano wind farm
Sacramento Business Journal - by Melanie Turner Staff writer

Sacramento Municipal Utility District is a step closer to more than doubling the capacity of its wind farm in Solano County, northwest of the Sacramento River, at a cost of more than $200 million.

The SMUD board of directors voted unanimously Sept. 1 to select Vestas-American Wind Technology Inc. of Portland, Ore., to build phase 3 of the Solano wind project. Set to be operational by late 2011, phase 3 will add 128 megawatts and boost the wind farm’s production capacity to 230 megawatts, enough to power about 78,000 homes.

The board authorized John DiStasio, SMUD’s general manager and chief executive officer, to finalize and execute two contracts with Vestas-American, a subsidiary of Vestas Wind Systems A/S of Denmark, to develop and operate phase 3.

The contract for engineering, procurement and construction is valued at $203 million. A second contract for operations and maintenance over a period of 15 years is not to exceed $67 million.

Construction is set to begin in May, and the project is expected to generate 75 jobs, SMUD spokeswoman Dace Udris said.

The project will add 55 wind turbines to the site. It includes a dozen 3-megawatt turbines, which work best in high winds, and 31 1.8-megawatt turbines, which work better in lower wind conditions, Udris said.

SMUD installed 23 wind turbines in 2003 and 2004, and added 29 larger turbines from May 2006 to December 2007. The project currently produces up to 102 megawatts.

All the wind turbines at the site are Vestas machines. They range in size from 660 kilowatts to 3 megawatts. Each 3-megawatt turbine can produce enough energy for more than 1,000 homes each year.

California’s three investor-owned utilities face a Dec. 31 deadline to obtain 20 percent of their electricity from renewable sources. And California wants to raise its renewable power requirements to 33 percent by 2020.

While the publicly owned SMUD is not under the state mandate, it is expected to be the only large electric utility in the state to meet the 2010 renewable energy goal this year.

The Solano wind farm will help SMUD reach its goal. SMUD is aiming to meet 23 percent of its retail electricity sales with renewable energy by 2011, and 33 percent from renewable sources by 2020.

Once phase 3 of the wind farm is completed, about a third of the renewable energy that goes to SMUD’s customers will come from wind energy, Udris said.

The SMUD project is one of many wind energy projects under way nationwide, though wind power sunk back to 2007 levels for the first half of 2010.

In 2009, the industry installed about $20 billion worth of new wind energy projects. This year the value of installed projects is expected to be half that, said John Dunlop, senior outreach and technical programs manager with the American Wind Energy Association.

The United States remains the world leader for total installed capacity for wind energy.

Nationwide, the average project size in 2009 was 75 megawatts, according to the association. The largest installed project in the country is a 782-megawatt project in Texas, according to the association. | 916-558-7859