Alameda County Expands Solar Electric System

December 11, 2001 by Jeff Shepard

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors announced that it is expanding the nation's largest roof-top solar-electric system, located above the county's Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, CA. PowerLight Corp. (Berkeley, CA) has been commissioned to increase the current solar array from approximately 640kW by another 500kW to 1.14MW. When completed next spring, this expanded system will be the fourth-largest solar photovoltaic system in the world.

"The on-site solar power and energy efficiency solutions we implemented through our relationship with PowerLight reflect the future of the energy industry," noted Alameda County Energy Program Manager Matt Muniz. "With solar-electric generation, we are able to reduce our overall energy cost and, in particular, reduce our purchases of expensive, peak energy from our local utility. With energy efficiency and demand-side management technologies, we are able to reduce costs even further than solar alone, while at the same time revitalizing our facility."

"We applaud Alameda County's leadership in implementing smart energy strategies using clean on-site solar-electric power and energy conservation," noted PowerLight CEO Tom Dinwoodie. "Alameda County is demonstrating how local governments can improve air quality while saving taxpayers' dollars."