A couple of months ago, I discussed the possibility of San Francisco entering into a solar power purchase agreement with a private solar power firm. (Click here)
On May 15, Mayor Gavin Newsom signed an ordinance that would enable Recurrent Energy, a San Francisco distributed power firm, to install roughly 25,000 solar panels on top of the Sunset Resevoir. The project was approved by the Board of Supervisors with a vote of 7-to-4 on May 12.
This plan will more than triple city’s solar energy output by adding about 5 MW of solar PV power.
Once completed, it will be among the largest municipal solar projects in the United States.
The 25-year contract between the city and Recurrent Energy allows the city to purchase the energy at a set rate, with the option to purchase the solar PV system when the contract expires.
Proponents of the partnership between the city and solar company state that a public-private partnership is the only way to complete such a project. Opponents contend that the non-negotiable contract may be detrimental to the city should the cost of solar equipment and installation go down in the future.