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For immediate release: April 17, 2003
Media Contact: Percy Della - (916) 654-4989

Loan to Help Marin County Produce Power from Sunlight

Sacramento : The Marin County Public Works Department's goal of producing electricity from the sun will get a financial boost from the State.

A loan of $233,120 from the California Energy Commission, a 50 percent project rebate from Pacific Gas and Electric Company, and county funds will enable the department to install a solar power system on the roof of its county operation center building.

By converting sunlight into electricity, the system has a rated capacity of about 89 kilowatts. This system is estimated to produce enough electricity to meet the annual needs of the County's Operation Center—with excess produced in the summer going back to PG&E and credited towards the Center's winter electrical needs

Depending on a metering structure with PG&E, the county government could slice its electricity bill usage by as much as 140,000-kilowatt hours, a savings of about $23,000 annually. The Energy Commission loan can be repaid in 10 years from the electricity savings alone.

The loan comes from the Commission's Energy Conservation Assistance Account (ECAA) Bond funds. In existence since 1979, the ECAA's low-interest loan program has made 646 loans for a combined $135 million to fund energy conservation improvements. These improvements in turn reduce energy costs to schools, cities, counties, public/non-profit hospitals, special districts and public care institutions.

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Attention Editors:

For further information, please contact:
Richard Carlsen, Assistant Director, Marin County Public Works Department, 415-499-6570.

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