SACRAMENTO, CA - City of Sacramento officials recently laid the last panel on an 800+ kilowatt system at the City's South Area Corporation Yard. City officials celebrated with SolarCity and Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) the completion of the first of four solar installations on City facilities. Solar panels were placed on parking canopies located in the employee parking lot area, according to a release from the City.
City of Sacramento Fleet has four electric vehicle (EV) chargers housed under the new solar canopy, with plans for additional EV chargers at the other solar installations. These chargers will be fed energy generated by solar power from the project. Fleet Manager Keith Leech commented, "The completion of the new solar-powered EV chargers corresponds perfectly with the City's Fleet having recently received four Chrysler plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) Ram 1500 pick-up trucks and two Chevrolet PHEV Volts funded from the Federal DOE Clean Cities American Recovery and Reinvestment Act."
In August, SMUD received 14 PHEV RAM 1500 pick-up trucks, of which the City of Sacramento received four to be used across various departments and services. These vehicles are being used as part of a demonstration project in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy. The information collected by Chrysler from the demonstration will be used to evaluate city drive cycles, charging performance, fuel economy, and real-world performance.
The solar panel project, approved by the Sacramento City Council in March, includes the installation of more than 8,000 solar panels on solar support structures and roof space at four locations. There was no upfront cost to the City, and the project created nearly 250 local jobs. In addition, it will provide city employees and customers shade for parking and reduce heat island effect.
SolarCity will install, own, and maintain the panels for the City. As part of the agreement, the City of Sacramento will pay for the power produced through a power purchase agreement (PPA) at a rate that is anticipated to be lower than grid electricity. This model makes it cost effective for the City to support the generation of renewable energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create local jobs, the release stated.