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San Diego Unveils Solar Power System

The city of San Diego unveiled one of the largest arrays of solar panels in the state Thursday. It cost the city nothing to build, and will lower the cost of energy in the future. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

Almost half an acre of solar panels bask in the sun, set over enclosed tanks of water at the city’s Alvarado water treatment plant. A private company, Sun Edison, put up the panels -- constructed in Tijuana -- and subsidized them by federal and state grants.

Jigan Shar, CEO of Sun Edison, says the company will recoup the $6.5 million cost by selling solar power to the city at a cost that will save the city $40,000 a year over its current energy bill.

Shar: San Diego’s the clear leader in the state of California as well as nationwide in adopting solar energy, killing two birds with one stone. Not only supporting a clean renewable technology, but also fixing their prices for 20 years.

The solar panels produce over one megawatt of power, about 20 percent of the power needed to run the Alvarado plant. City officials are looking for sites to put up more panels, to generate another four megawatts of solar energy .  


Alison St John, KPBS News.

(Photo: San Diego officials unveil a large array of solar panels, set over enclosed tanks of water at the city’s Alvarado water treatment plant. Alison St John/KPBS ).

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