Richmond to Have Largest Solar Farm in Bay Area


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A 49-acre plot of land in Richmond will soon be home to enough solar panels to power for an estimated 3,400 homes. The project is part of the city’s mission to become more environmentally sustainable and bring more jobs to the city. 

The project, which is called “Solar One”, is a collaboration between the City of Richmond, Marin Clean Energy (MCE), Stion Energy Resources, and Chevron, the last of which owns the land on which the soar farm will be built. 

“The Solar One project has established a unique partnership between Chevron, the City of Richmond, Marin Clean Energy and other partners that shows how public-private partnerships can open up a world of possibilities and opportunity,” said Jeff Hartwig, project manager for the Chevron Richmond Refinery Modernization Project, according to the Richmond Standard.

Construction on the project is scheduled to begin in February 2016 and will bring over 100 jobs to the area, many of which will be local hires from career training programs like RichmondBUILD. 

Richmond Mayor Tom Butt, who recently returned from the successful COP21 climate conference in Paris, sees the project as part of an international effort to cut greenhouse emissions.  

“To come back from that huge inspiration and be a part of groundbreaking for this project is an amazing thing,” the Mayor said at the groundbreaking on Wednesday, according to the Contra Costa Times

The creation of the solar farm is partially funded by MCE customers who receive 100 percent for their energy from renewable resources. In collaboration with Chevron, the land is being leased for $1 a year, as part of the Richmond refinery’s modernization project. 

With over 80,000 mounted solar panels, the project will be the largest of its kind in the Bay Area.

Project officials expect the Solar One project to be completed by this time next year. Over the next 25 years, the solar farm will eliminate 10,000 metric tons of CO2, or equivalent to removing over 2,000 cars from the road annually.

Photo: Richmond Standard

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