FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 23, 2009
Contact: Austin Carter
RPU Public Information Officer
RIVERSIDE, Calif. â€“ Eight years after its first solar energy project came online, the City of Riverside has surpassed the milestone of producing more than 1 megawatt (MW) of local solar energy.Â One megawatt is enough energy to power 750 homes in Southern California.
â€œIt is exciting to see that weâ€™ve reached this goal so quickly,â€ said Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge. â€œWe are well on our way to becoming a model solar city for Southern California and the nation.â€
The milestone was reached just as the Casa Blanca Library reopens, after extensive interior remodeling, with a new 54.88 kilowatt (kW) solar energy system affixed to the top of the parking structure.Â The Casa Blanca Library rededication ceremony is at 11 a.m., Saturday.
â€œWe are very proud of this achievement,â€ said Riverside Public Utilities General Manager David H. Wright. â€œAnd we are thankful for a Board and City Council that have had the foresight over the years to fund and build projects, which not only provide clean, renewable energy for our city, but have educated our customers on the importance of solar energy and how they too can use it.â€
To date, the utility has funded 12 solar energy projects; 11 of which are now online producing more than 1,121.69 kW.Â Projects are located throughout the city, including roof-mounted solar systems on low-income housing units, a local senior center, a homeless services center, city pool facilities, city hall, and at local train stations.
In 2003, Riverside Public Utilities began offering a rebate program, which helps offset the costs of installing a residential solar energy system.Â The program offers incentives of $3 per watt installed, up to $25,000 or 50 percent of the project costs (whichever is less).
With the addition of a commercial solar rebate program in 2008, the utility saw nearly a 42-percent increase in the number of projects applying for funding.Â And, since July, has seen a 74-percent increase in projects that have been completed.
Surpassing the 1MW local solar milestone is just part of the larger goal the utility has set — receiving 50 percent of its total power from renewable resources by 2013.
For more information about the cityâ€™s solar projects and to see Riversideâ€™s â€œSolar City Mapâ€ visit www.RiversidePublicUtilities.com/solar
Established in 1895, Riverside Public Utilities is a consumer-owned water and electric utility governed by a Board of nine community volunteers that provides high quality, reliable services to over 107,000 metered electric customers and 63,400 metered water customers throughout the City of Riverside.Â The Utility is committed to increased use of renewable energy resources and sustainable living practices that help reduce environmental impacts within the City of Riverside and the state of California.