Federal Award for "Green" Power
October 6, 2004, ALBANY, NY - The City and County of San Francisco and The Moscone Center was one of five winners honored in the category of on-site generation with the federal EPA's Green Power Award. The 2004 Green Power Leadership Awards were presented in conjunction with the 9th National Green Power Marketing Conference October 4-6, 2004 in Albany, New York.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), sponsor the Green Power Leadership Awards which recognize the actions of individuals, companies, and organizations that are significantly advancing the development of renewable electricity sources. The Green Power Leadership Awards are competitive awards that recognize outstanding commitments and achievements in the green power marketplace.
The "On-Site Generation" award recognizes partners who distinguish themselves using on-site renewable energy applications, including, but not limited to, solar PV or wind energy projects. EPA's Green Power Partnership provides assistance and recognition to organizations that demonstrate environmental leadership by choosing green power.
The Moscone Center's Solar Electric System is owned by the City and County of San Francisco through the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. It is located on the roof of Moscone Center's South Lobby and Esplanade Ballroom. The system was completed by PowerLight Corporation and launched by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and officials from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) at a ceremony held at The Moscone Center on March 18, 2004.
"San Francisco is a leader in the use of clean and renewable energy sources -- solutions that make sense for both the environment and the economy," said Mayor Gavin Newsom at the solar project's launching ceremony,
"This solar project marks the City's first major step towards achieving its goal of obtaining all municipal energy from pollution-free sources, while creating jobs and driving economic development. More importantly, the Moscone energy project is a clear illustration of how our nation's cities can make great strides to provide clean air for our communities, protect the environment -- and help secure a sustainable energy future for our nation."
Solar electricity is generated by a 60,000 square foot photovoltaic array, which converts sunlight directly into electricity. On sunny days, the PV system produces enough electricity to power over 550 homes. The Moscone Center Energy project consists of two parts: solar power generation and energy efficiency.
The solar electric system is a PowerLight photovoltaic roofing assembly installed on the Moscone Center roof. This system utilizes solar modules to convert sunlight directly into electricity. The solar panels also provide thermal insulation and protect the roof from harsh UV rays and thermal degradation, which reduces heating and cooling energy costs and extends the life of the roof.
Energy Efficiency Measures
Energy efficiency measures such as lighting upgrades & control systems have reduced facility load by 21%. The energy efficiency measures include upgrades to lighting equipment and building controls. These include replacing older, inefficient incandescent, fluorescent and mercury vapor lighting throughout the entire 442,000 square foot exhibit floor with newer energy efficient lighting technologies. These technologies also provide higher lighting quality and create a better environment for both employees and convention attendees.
Funding through Voter Initiative
In 2001, San Francisco voters approved initiatives which authorized the city to issue up to $100 million in revenue bonds to finance renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in city and county owned buildings and enabled the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to issue revenue bonds to support renewable energy and energy efficiency developments in city, commercial, and residential buildings. The Solar electric system was funded in part by the San Francisco Mayor's Energy Account (MECA). Established in 2001, MECA directed funding to finance energy efficiency programs in City buildings and facilities.
San Francisco's Electricity Resource Plan
The SFPUC's deployment of clean, reliable energy resources in municipal buildings such as The Moscone Center is an important step towards meeting the goals of San Francisco's long-term Electricity Resource plan.
Benefit to the Environment
By reducing the purchase of fossil fuel-generated electricity, The Moscone Center's solar system spares the environment from tons of harmful emissions. Annually, the system reduces greenhouse gas emissions by an amount equivalent to planting 62 acres of trees, not driving over half a million miles, or taking 50 passenger cars off the road.
The primary benefit of buying green power is environmental protection. For many organizations, the electricity they purchase is a significant source of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Voluntary green power consumers are making a real difference environmentally by supporting the development of new power plants that generate electricity with significantly less air pollution and no net increase in greenhouse gas emissions.
Green power leaders have achieved numerous benefits from purchasing green power, including avoiding air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, meeting organizational environmental objectives, providing a hedge against future electricity price instability, demonstrating civic leadership, generating positive publicity and enhancing public image, generating customer, investor, or stakeholder loyalty, and employee pride; stimulating local economies; stimulating long-term cost reductions for renewable energy; increasing domestic security through a more diverse fuel mix; reducing the vulnerability of our nation's energy infrastructure.
Renewable energy resources are continuously replenished, and include wind, solar, geothermal, low impact (or small) hydropower, biomass and biogas. All of these resources reduce the environmental impact associated with traditional power generation. Currently, less than 2% of the nation's energy supply is generated from non-hydro renewable resources. The majority of our nation?s electricity is generated from fossil fuels.
EPA and DOE sponsor the Green Power Leadership Awards for purchasing. The awards are given annually and recognize exceptional achievement among Partners of the Green Power Partnership.