City considers solar power for police stations, libraries, parks

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SAN DIEGO — A plan to install solar power panels at 25 city of San Diego properties over the next 20 years is scheduled to go before the City Council’s Infrastructure Committee next week.

A city staff report said the sites could be used for nine rooftop solar systems and 19 parking lot canopy arrays.

Among the proposed locations are seven police stations, four libraries, the City Administration Building and surrounding structures, the Mission Trails Regional Park Visitors Center parking lot, and the Inspiration Point parking lot in Balboa Park.

Under terms of the deal, SunEdison Government Solutions LLC will own, install, operate and maintain the solar photovoltaic systems over two decades. The city will buy the power supplied by the systems from SunEdison, replacing electricity that otherwise would have been purchased from San Diego Gas & Electric.

City officials estimated the cost of purchasing power for the 25 facilities from SDG&E over the next 20 years would be $48 million, compared to a $26 million price tag for solar from SunEdison. The total savings would be $22 million, ranging from a projected $500,000 in the first year of operation to more than $1.7 million annually by the end of the term, according to the staff report.

The project could become more ambitious in the future. City staff said in the report that 40 other municipal properties were identified as good candidates for solar systems.

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