Chevron, Patterson 'flip the switch'
by PI Staff
Oct 31, 2013 | 1828 views | 0 0 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The City of Patterson and Chevron Energy Solutions ‘flipped the switch’ Thursday, Oct. 24 at the Hammon Senior Center on a solar and energy efficiency project that is expected to save the community $6.5 million and reduce its utility electricity purchases by 90 percent.

Dignitaries such as the Patterson Council members Dominic Farinha, Deborah Novelli and Sheree Lustgarten, Mayor Pro Tem Larry Buehner, and Mayor Luis Molina, State Senator Anthony Canella and Assemblyman Adam Gray were present for a 40-minute ceremony that marked the beginning of the use of a project between Chevron Energy Solutions and the city of Patterson. County and municipal leaders from all over Stanislaus County were also in attendance.

The first of its kind in Stanislaus County, the project includes solar installations and energy efficiency programs designed to reduce energy usage. The city will generate its own green, renewable electricity, dramatically reducing citywide energy costs, saving taxpayers millions over the life of the project, and making neighborhoods safer by replacing streetlights with more efficient LED fixtures.

Chevron installed photovoltaic solar panels at the city’s sewage treatment plants and new corporation yard, as well.

Those panels are expected to generate more than 1.12 megawatts of electricity, enough to cover about 94 percent of the facilities’ power use.

The project also converted nearly 800 new city-owned streetlights to L.E.D. technology and is improving indoor and outdoor lighting at the aquatics center, the corporation yard, both city fire stations and the sewage treatment plant.

Lighting changes will reduce the city’s electricity use by an estimated 2.1 million kilowatt hours and the corresponding utility bill by more than $220,000 per year.

Turlock Irrigation District, the city’s power provider, presented a check of more than $435,000 during the ceremony— which represented the solar and lighting rebate to the city — paid over five years for reducing energy usage. A $6 million cost savings is predicted during the 30-year projected life of the solar panels, the report states.

The total cost of the project is expected to be $5,445,133.

The city has been approved for a California Energy Commission loan of $2.8 million at a one percent annual interest rate for 15 years, and another loan called a Tax Exempt Lease Purchase for more than $1.7 million with Bank of America.

Cost savings and incentives are projected to pay for the loan payments during the first 16 years and save the city $450,000 in energy costs each year going forward.

Contact the Patterson Irrigator at 892-6187 or news@pattersonirrigator.com.

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