Moscone Solar Featured at World Environment Day
June 1-4, 2005, SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Over fifty visiting mayors and international delegates will have the opportunity to tour The Moscone Center's solar generation facility as part of United Nations Environment Program World Environment Day 2005. From June 1-5, World Environment Day will be celebrated throughout San Francisco with special events focusing on urban environmental issues.
Daily tours will be offered to WED delegates at 2:30 June 1-3 of The Moscone Center, San Francisco's premier convention facility, where they will view the largest municipally-owned solar generation facility in the country. Solar electricity is generated by a 60,000 square foot photovoltaic (PV) array, which converts sunlight directly into electricity. The PV system together with the energy efficiency measures also installed produce enough electricity to power over 1,000 homes.
"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 on March 18, 2004,
"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."
The Moscone Center Energy project consists of two parts: solar power generation and energy efficiency.
1. Solar Installation
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.
2. Energy Efficiency Measures
Energy efficiency measures such as lighting upgrades and control systems have reduced facility annual energy use by 21%, or over 4 million kilowatt-hours per year. 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.
• The Solar electric system was funded by the San Francisco Mayor's Energy Conservation Account (MECA). Established in 2001, MECA has directed funding to finance solar and energy efficiency programs in City buildings and facilities.
• The project also received rebates from the California Public Utilities Commission and California Energy Commission.
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 Energy Project spares the environment from 35,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions. Annually, the PV 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.
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.
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.
A kilowatt-hour (kWh) is a standard unit of measurement for electricity. The average home in San Francisco uses approximately 4,500 kWhyear of electricity.
• One kilowatt-hour (kWh) is equal to 1,000 watt-hours (Wh).
• Example: A 100 watt light bulb in use for 10 hours uses 1000 watt-hours, or 1 kilowatt of electricity. (100 watts x 10 hours = 1000 watt-hours = 1 kWh)
Solar power is produced using solar cells, also known as photovoltaics. Photovoltaic cells can turn light ("photo") energy into electricity ("voltaics"). Solar cells generate direct current (DC) which is then converted to alternating current (AC) using inverters. Solar cells are built into arrays that can be used to generate electricity on-site at facilities.