SF Development Project Aims to use 100 Percent Green Power

Date: 22 Aug 2006 | posted in: Energy, Energy Self Reliant States | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) has announced a plan to create San Francisco’s first neighborhood powered entirely by clean, renewable energy. The community would be on a 93-acre parcel at a site of the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, where Lennar/BVHP is about to begin construction of more than 1,600 new residential units and 300,000 square feet of commercial and retail space.

In a press release, Mayor Gavin Newsome said, “A new Green Power Community at Hunters Point is at the core of San Francisco’s clean energy vision and leadership.”

The SFPUC has formally notified Pacific Gas & Electric — the owner of the City’s electric distribution network — of its intention to serve as the primary provider of power to the Hunters Point development. Though the SFPUC must still negotiate terms of distributing SFPUC-generated clean power through the private utility’s transmission system, PG&E is obligated to accept the application. Upon completion of an agreement, the SFPUC would coordinate with Lennar/BVHP to lay the required new water, sewer and electrical infrastructure into the development as well.

The SFPUC currently provides electricity to many of San Francisco’s most vital public services and facilities primarily from a hydropower project in Yosemite National Park. Recently, the SFPUC has also been a leader in solar development, operating and maintaining the nation’s largest municipal rooftop solar facility in the nation at Moscone Convention Center, along with projects in operation or in the works at the Southeast Wastewater Treatment Plant, Norcal Recycling Facility at Pier 96, the San Francisco International Airport and more under development.

Delivering power directly to residential and businesses would represent a new direction for SFPUC and would require a bit of reorganization for the agency. Not unexpectedly, the incumbent utility, Pacific Gas and Electric, has asked the Mayor to consider dropping the plan and said that it would compete to become the electricity provider for Lennar/BVHP.


John Farrell
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John Farrell

John Farrell directs the Energy Democracy initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and he develops tools that allow communities to take charge of their energy future, and pursue the maximum economic benefits of the transition to 100% renewable power.