The County of San Luis Obispo Energizes Its Largest Solar Energy Project
The County of San Luis Obispo and ForeFront Power celebrated the completion of a 1.2 megawatts-DC (MWdc) solar energy project at the County Operations Center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the project site. Developed, financed, owned, and operated by ForeFront Power, the project includes a total of 3,294 solar modules ground-mounted on 6 acres of land behind the County Honor Farm and parallel to Calif. State Highway 1.
The County Operations Center solar project will yield significant electricity savings and cost stability for the eight departments benefitting from the project. The County expects that, over the next 20 years, the project will offset nearly 74 million pounds of carbon dioxide, and yield an estimated $6 million in net savings, which will reduce the County’s operating expenses and allow it to provide critical services to the community. The County Operations Center solar project aggregates electric meters from 12 County facilities, including the Main and Women’s Jail, Juvenile Services Center, Honor Farm, and other Sheriff, Public Works, Information Services, and Fleet facilities.
Beyond the planned energy cost savings, this project will also contribute to the County’s renewable energy procurement goals. “This project is a significant step forward to reaching our County goal of procuring 20 percent of our energy from renewable sources,” said Annie Secrest, Energy and Water Coordinator for the County of San Luis Obispo. “With this project energized, the County now derives over 12 percent of its energy from solar power. This helps us mitigate increasing electricity rates and better control our operating expenses.”
The County Operations Center solar project also generates enough electricity to avoid an additional 1,735 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year. This is roughly equivalent to removing 375 gas-powered passenger vehicles from the road annually, or to the amount of carbon sequestered by 2,266 acres of nearby forest in one year.