"This is just so unspeakably cool,” Marchand said.
Marchand, along with various members of the city of Livermore, school district and Chevron representatives gathered on Sept.16 to celebrate a ribbon cutting of the completed solar fields behind the Livermore Civic Center.
"This is a bold plan that will greatly reduce energy costs and save tax payer dollars while at the same time growing businesses and lead the way in new, innovative technology," Marchand says. "This program, which will be a model for cities across the state includes renewable energy, energy efficiency, business incubation, job creation and student engagement and even better, will save the taxpayers of Livermore $10 million dollars through the life of this program.”
Livermore's Capacity Project aims at saving the city money while also shrinking its greehouse gas. The solar project, in conjunction with various energy efficiency measures will save taxpayers more than $10 million over the next 25 years, without any up-front outlay of capital funding by the city, Chevron Energy Solutions Spokesman Brent Andrew says.
The solar-generating capacity was installed at the Civic Center, the Main Library and the Airport and, combined with a range of energy efficiency measures, these installations are expected to offset almost 90 percent of the sites’ power needs, Andrew said.
"The size of the solar field is moderate range compared to other cities but the significance to Livermore is beyond the size," he said.
This is the first project Chevron Energy Solutions has done with the city of Livermore.
Livermore-based Bridgelux, a developer and manufacturer of LED lighting technologies and solutions, made the replacements.
According to the city's website, "7,100 existing high pressure sodium (HPS) cobra head street lights were replaced with high-efficiency LED fixtures that use less electricity and emit better quality light than the existing street lights."
According to Andrew, some examples of Chevron Energy Solutions’ work in the region include:
- Santa Rita Jail, located in Dublin, fifth largest jail facility in the U.S. run by Alameda County, not only has renewable and energy efficiency measures but also has a smart grid capability
- East Side Union High School District, 13 campuses received solar installations and energy efficiency projects in 2011, becoming the largest K-12 solar and energy efficiency project in the U.S.
- LED Streetlight Project in Livermore and Dublin
- Milpitas Unified School District
Through a partnership between Chevron Energy Solutions and Silicon Valley-based WattzOn, Livermore high school students have also been hired to engage the city’s residents in the effort to reduce their energy use.
Laila Hassan, former student at Livermore High School and outgoing WattzOn intern spoke to the audience at the event.
“I was extremely excited to start the program," Hassan says. "It opened my eyes in two ways: shaped me to be independent, to be a leader and helped me make my decision on my major.”
Hassan, now a civil engineering student at UC Davis was in the WattzOn program at LHS.
“The spark of creativity comes in unexpected places in unexpected times,” she says.