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City sees energy savings with solar panels, LED lights

Posted: Monday, Jul 8th, 2013

WATSONVILLE — Just a year after a batch of solar panels were installed at three Watsonville facilities, the city is announcing significant energy savings.

The $2.9 million solar panel project called for 450 240-watt solar panels installed on the roofs of City Hall, the Municipal Service Center on Harvest Drive and the Water Resources Center on Clearwater Lane.

Together the three sites have generated more than 526,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of solar energy to date.

A full analysis of the city’s solar panel project will be undertaken in November, looking at how much power was generated and how much the city has used since the project went online in December, said Robert Berry, project manager for the city’s public works department.

So far, the energy generated at the three sites amounts to savings equivalent to 42,685 gallons of gas, 377 tons of CO2, 9,484 trees and 3,006 60-watt light bulbs, according to real-time data available online at secure.deckmonitoring.com/portfolios/Watsonville.

Longer summer days mean more time to generate electricity and according to Berry, the solar panels at City Hall generate enough electricity to run that building on a typical summer day.

While solar panels could not generate enough electricity to entirely run the city’s wastewater treatment plant, the city’s largest solar panel system at the Water Resources Center generates enough electricity to run the operations building and one of the pumps for the water recycling program, said Berry.

For the complete article see the 07-09-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 07-09-2013 paper.

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