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For immediate release: April 17, 2002
Media Contact: Percy Della - 916-654-4989

Sunlight to Produce Power for
Santa Cruz City Hall Annex


Sacramento - The Santa Cruz City Hall annex has literally put power into its own hands - through a photovoltaics system perched on the building's south facing roofline.

Santa Cruz Mayor Christopher Krohn will lead the dedication of the system on April 22.

By converting sunlight into electricity, the system will generate about 25,000 kilowatt-hours each year, enough electricity for 7 percent of the total electricity needed at the annex. Depending on the rate structure of the utility serving the area, the solar power could slice the building's electricity bill by $3400 to $6000 a year and prevent almost 34,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

The California Energy Commission's Emerging Renewables Buydown Program made the purchase of the PV system possible. The program offers rebates of $4.50 a watt, or up to 50 percent off the purchase price of an eligible project, whichever is lower. System owners also can apply for state and federal tax credits. (Non-profits like the city can't take advantage of the tax credit.)

The rebates apply to solar photovoltaics, small wind systems (10 kilowatt or less), fuel cells using renewable fuels and solar thermal electric generation systems. Participating systems must remain connected to the electric grid.

Started in 1998, the Program has installed over 2,200 solar systems capable of producing over 7,400 kilowatts (7.4 megawatts) of electricity. The Program has approved 1000 more rebate reservations for projects that can generate 10 megawatts of electricity. The majority of the systems are solar photovoltaic.

A megawatt is enough electricity for 1,000 average California homes.

A typical PV system turns the sun's energy into direct current (DC), runs it through an inverter, and turns it into alternating current (AC) used by the majority of appliances, office machines and electrical systems. The AC power either flows into a building or, if not needed, into the electric utility's transmission lines.

For more information, click on:

www.consumerenergycenter.org

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For further information, contact: Mary Arman, City of Santa Cruz, 831-420-5162.


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