New solar panels installed at SFO
By Laura Dudnick
September 20, 2007
Mayor Gavin Newsom today moved one step closer to reaching his
goal of making San Francisco the "greenest" city in
San Francisco International Airport Terminal 3 now boasts more
than 2,800 solar panels on its rooftop, Newsom announced today
while unveiling the new energy-efficient equipment.
The solar panels were implemented as part of the San Francisco
Public Utilities Commission and SFO's joint solar energy project
to help reduce energy use, according to the mayor's office.
"This major solar energy project further establishes San
Francisco as America's solar energy leader and symbolizes the
commitment of the city - and San Francisco International Airport
- to leading the way on renewable energy generation and reduction
of greenhouse gas emissions," Newsom said in a statement.
The new energy system will provide enough electricity for all
of the daytime lighting needs within Terminal 3 with excess power
to spare, according to the mayor's office.
The solar panels will save enough energy to power about 300 homes
each year. In addition, utilizing the solar panels as opposed
to typical energy generating methods that require fossil fuels
will save approximately 7,200 tons of carbon dioxide over a period
of 30 years.
"(The panels) are terrific," SFO spokesman Mike McCarron
said. "We're very excited to have them."
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission funded the $5.5
million solar energy project, although a $1.2 million rebate is
expected under a California Public Utilities Commission program,
SFPUC spokesman Tony Winnicker said.
Winnicker said the panels will be fully functional in about four
The rooftop solar panels at SFO's Terminal 3 is the public utilities
commission's largest project to date, according to Winnicker.
SFO's solar panels were also designed after careful consideration
of a more resourceful way to position the panels than in the past.
The panels are slightly tilted, which make them catch the sun
more efficiently and are easier to clean, Winnicker said.
Since Newsom took office, Winnicker said city officials have
quadrupled the amount of solar power in San Francisco.
"Today was significant," Winnicker added. "But
it's still just the beginning of what's potentially out there."
SFO has also been named winner of this year's Environmental Management
Award by the Airports Council International-North America for
the airport's Environmental Sustainability Program, according
to the mayor's office.
SFO's first solar system was installed upon the Engineering Building
in 2001, according to the mayor's office.
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