Mayor Unveils Solar Project at SFO

Publish date: 
Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mayor Unveils Solar Project at SFO

(September 20, 2007)

New Terminal 3 Solar Panels Lauded As SFO Also Receives Major National Environmental Management Award



SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Mayor Gavin Newsom unveiled the installation of more than 2,800 solar panels on the roof-top of San Francisco International Airport's Terminal 3 as part of a joint SFO/San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) solar energy project. Joining the Mayor to acknowledge this project in the support of his goal to make San Francisco the "greenest" City in the Nation were SFPUC General Manager Susan Leal and Airport Director John L. Martin. The new project coincides with the award of a major national environmental management award to San Francisco International Airport for its sustainability program and environmental practices.



"This major solar energy project further establishes San Francisco as America's solar energy leader and symbolizes the commitment of the City-- and San Francisco International Airport--to leading the way on renewable energy generation and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions," said Mayor Newsom.



The Terminal 3 solar energy system will provide enough electricity for all the daytime lighting needs within the Terminal 3 (with excess power to spare) and is estimated to generate a yearly energy saving of 628,000 kilowatt hours (kwhr), or enough energy to power roughly 300 homes. Approximately 7,200 tons of Carbon Dioxide over a 30 year period will be saved by utilizing this totally "green", non-polluting electrical generating means versus typical generating methods requiring fossil fuels.



The $5.5 million cost of the project was paid for by the SFPUC's Power Enterprise, which is projected to install over 1.1 megawatts (1,100 kilowatts) this year of solar power to help meet the City of San Francisco's municipal power requirements. The SFPUC is also eligible to receive a $1.2 million California State rebate upon commissioning of this new photo-voltaic (PV) solar system.



"This joint SFO/SFPUC project is a great example of City departments working together to support the City's 'Clean Energy, Clean Air' policy to move the City towards a cleaner and more efficient energy system based on increased renewable electricity and energy efficiency," said SFPUC General Manager Susan Leal.



The new SFO Terminal 3 solar project comes as Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA) names San Francisco International Airport as winner of this year's Environmental Management Award for SFO's Environmental Sustainability Program. The award recognized the Airport's commitment to supporting the City and County of San Francisco's goal of obtaining environmental sustainability and to reduce emissions, save energy, improve water quality, preserve natural resources, and minimize waste at the Airport. Specifically noted in the award were, "a pilot program with Virgin Atlantic to tow departing aircraft part-way to the runway, 400 Hz power and pre-conditioned air at many gates, conversion of airport shuttles to bio-diesel fuel, installation of solar panels, and a solid waste minimization and recycling program."



"It is extremely gratifying to receive this award from such a prestigious organization," said Airport Director John L. Martin. "And while we are proud of our achievements in this arena, everyone at SFO is committed to 'raising the bar' even further and doing whatever is possible to ensure that SFO is recognized as the 'greenest' international airport in the world."



This is the second solar system at the Airport. In September 2001, a 20kw system was installed upon the Engineering Building. The system has been running ever since with savings of nearly 150,000 kwhr.