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San Francisco Receives U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) National Green Power Leadeship Award

San Francisco, CA—Mayor Gavin Newsom today announced that San Francisco has received a 2010 Green Power Leadership Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for in-city generation of green energy. Previously, San Francisco has won other awards from the EPA, including an award for its solar array atop Moscone Center. The U.S. E.P.A. also awarded Moscone Center the 2004 Green Power Leadership Award for distinguishing itself for using on-site renewable energy applications.

This year's 2010 EPA award recognizes the country’s leading green power generators and purchasers for their commitment to clean energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“San Francisco’s commitment to clean energy is producing green jobs and real benefits for our City today,” said Mayor Newsom. “The economic advantages of a green economy are very tangible and we can feel the effects of clean energy in the air we breath; with each solar panel, day-by-day, we’re fueling San Francisco’s transformation into a green economy powered by increasingly clean, renewable energy.”

Green power is electricity that is generated from clean, renewable resources like solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, biomass and low-impact hydro. These resources generate electricity without emitting carbon dioxide emissions. The alternative brown power options, i.e., coal, natural gas and nuclear are harmful to the environment and generate carbon pollution and or radioactive waste.

The City of San Francisco is a leader in on-site green power generation, using more than 25 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually from its biogas facilities and nine municipal solar installations. These solar installations are located on nine facilities and rooftops throughout the City, including the City’s convention facility Moscone Center. Until now, the Moscone Center's solar array had been the city's largest municipal solar project generating up to 675 kwH atop Moscone Center. San Francisco is soon set to begin generating up to 5 megawatts (MW) of solar energy at the Sunset Reservoir Solar Array at what will be California’s newest and largest municipal solar project (nearly 24,000 solar panels).

The City of San Francisco was one of only two organizations nationwide to receive a Leadership Award for the on-site generation of green power. The award recognizes EPA Green Power Partners who distinguish themselves by using on-site renewable energy applications, such as solar photovoltaic (PV) or wind energy projects.

“EPA congratulates our leadership award winners for demonstrating by example the importance of using clean, renewable energy,” said Gina McCarthy, Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation at EPA. “By using green power, the City of San Francisco is leading the way toward cleaner air and a healthier environment while helping advance the market for renewable energy.”

The City of San Francisco currently ranks No. 2 on EPA’s Top 20 On-site Generation list. EPA updates its Top Partner Lists quarterly at With more solar projects in the
pipeline, the City is also installing low-impact hydro facilities throughout its vast water delivery system to generate even more renewable energy. Additionally, the City is currently studying the feasibility of offshore wave power generation.

The EPA will present representatives from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), which is responsible for the installation and operation of the City’s renewable energy generating network, with the award at an event held in conjunction with the 2010 Renewable Energy Markets Conference in Portland, Oregon today. In 2004, the U.S. E.P.A. awarded Moscone Center the 2004 Green Power Leadership Award for distinguishing itself for using on-site renewable energy applications.

“We’re honored to accept this Green Power Leadership Award from the EPA,” said San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) General Manager Ed Harrington. “Our solar and low-impact hydroelectric projects, as well as our ongoing wind and wave power studies are making San Francisco a focal point for emerging technologies that are greening our economy and power.”

About Moscone Center Solar System
To date, one of the largest publicly-owned solar systems in the United States

Moscone Solar Background
Installed and launched in March 2004 by Mayor Gavin Newsom and officials from the San Francisco Public Utilities
Commission, the photovoltaic system atop Moscone South’s Esplanade Ballroom and South lobby roof has attracted
many visitors from around the world. The Moscone Center's Solar Electric System is owned by the City and County of
San Francisco through the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. The system’s installation was completed by
PowerLight Corporation of Berkeley, Calif. The two part project included both installation of the PV array and upgrading the exhibit hall with more energy efficient lighting fixtures.

Moscone Solar Costs
The North and South exhibit hall lighting retrofit was completed in 2004 by SMG, Moscone Center’s management company. Total costs before incentives was $8,142,068 and net cost after incentives is $5,705,723. The payback time is estimated to be ten years for the joint solar and energy efficiency project at Moscone Center.

Moscone Solar Size & Scope
The solar array features 5,426 photovoltaic module panels, covering an area of 60,000 square feet atop both Moscone South's lobby rooftop and its Esplanade Ballroom rooftop.

All bulbs in the 27-plus foot high ceiling of five exhibit halls were replaced, covering an area larger than seven U.S. football fields. 5,000 ceiling bulbs were replaced, upgrading them from incandescent, T12 fluorescent and mercury vapor fixtures to more cool burning and energy efficient compact fluorescent lamps, T8 fluorescents and metal halide fixtures.

Moscone Solar System Savings
The annual energy savings of the lighting upgrade alone is
4.2 million kilowatt hours annually. The annual energy output of the Moscone Center solar system is 826,000 kilowatt-hours per year. Together the environmental impact of both solar and lighting upgrade can be given in terms of tons of carbon dioxide as 1,933 tons of CO2 annually displaced.

About SF Public Utilities Commission
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is the municipal power provider for the City and County of San Francisco and is responsible for the installation and operation of the City’s renewable energy generating network. In conjunction with its solar facilities, biogas facilities and low-impact hydro plant, the SFPUC also owns and operates the Hetch Hetchy Water and Power System, which generates 1.7 billion kilowatt hours of clean energy annually without any greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to being the City’s municipal clean power provider, the SFPUC provides retail drinking water to 2.5 million customers throughout the Bay Area and wastewater services to the City and County of San Francisco. For additional information, go to

About EPA’s Green Power Partnership
The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to buy green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with purchased electricity use. The Partnership currently has nearly 1,300 Partner organizations voluntarily purchasing billions of kilowatt-hours of green power annually. Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations such as Fortune 500® companies, small and medium sized businesses, local, state, and federal governments, and colleges and universities. For additional information, go to

Download PDF: Moscone Center Solar Factsheet

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