How San Diegans can get their clean-car rebate early

Thinking about getting an electric car or plug-in hybrid? There’s now an extra little incentive for customers in San Diego County.

The state’s Clean Vehicle Rebate Project has launched a pilot program that allows drivers to get their rebates up front and apply the money at the point of sale.

Here’s how it works:

If you buy or lease a car that qualifies under the state’s definition of a zero-emisison vehicle (ZEV), you are eligible to receive a rebate check from the state — the amount varies depending on the type of vehicle.

Under the pilot program, you can get pre-approved for a rebate ahead of time and apply the amount immediately from a participating car dealer.

So instead of waiting for the state to send you the rebate after the sale, the rebate is applied at the same time you purchase or lease the vehicle.

“For those who already know what they want … they can get the vehicle, apply the rebate at the point of sale, reduce the amount of financing and they’re off down the road,” said Chad Taylor, assistant director of clean transportation at the Center for Sustainable Energy, (CSE), the San Diego nonprofit that administers the state’s rebate program.

Called Rebate Now, the pilot program will be tested in San Diego County and if it’s successful, will be applied statewide.

Taylor said San Diego County was chosen because the metropolitan area has traditionally been accepting of clean technology and offers a good mix of economically diverse neighborhoods. In addition, since CSE is located in San Diego, the organization will have easy access to check on the pilot program’s progress.

The state’s rebate program offers price reductions ranging from $1,500 for plug-in hybrids, $2,500 for battery electric vehicles and $5,000 for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

There is also a $900 rebate for zero-emissions motorcycles.

Applications for Rebate Now can be filled out at the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project website: https://cleanvehiclerebate.org/eng/rebatenow

Once approved, customers have 14 days to use the preapproved rebate to buy or lease a ZEV. Taylor said if customers need more time, they can apply for a 14-day extension. If they still don’t buy or lease a ZEV, the pre-approval will cancel out but customers can reapply.

San Diego County customers who don’t apply for Rebate Now can still get their rebates sent to them.

The pilot program follows the same rules for eligibility the state put into place in 2016.

That year, some high-income earners were nixed from receiving rebates while more money was given to lower-income households.

The new rules eliminated rebates for those whose income exceeds $150,000 for single tax filers, $204,000 for head of household filers and $300,000 for joint filers.

The caps do not apply for hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, though.

Meanwhile, people with household incomes less than or equal to 300 percent of the federal poverty level receive $4,500 for buying or leasing battery-electric vehicles, $3,500 for plug-in hybrids and $7,000 for fuel cell vehicles.

Three hundred percent of the poverty level translates into gross income for an individual of $36,180 or less, or a family of four earning under $73,800.

Officials at CSE think the Rebate Now program will help boost ZEV sales.

“We believe this has particular appeal to folks in disadvantaged communities, so it enables program equity,” Taylor said. “But it also enables most all Californians to participate as well.”

Gov. Jerry Brown has set a target of 1.5 million clean-energy vehicles on California’s roads by 2025. Just under 368,000 battery-electric and plug-in hybrids have been sold in the state.

 

How San Diegans can get their clean-car rebate early, by Rob Nikolewski, The San Diego Union-Tribune, February 12, 2018.  

Report finds San Diego’s progress on climate plan transportation goals illusory

The city of San Diego continues to take credit, as part of its once-vaunted Climate Action Plan, for reductions in greenhouse gases that didn’t occur, as first revealed by a San Diego Union-Tribune investigation in November.

A local nonprofit watchdog has now released an audit of regional efforts to fight climate change, finding that the city misinformed the public on progress to reduce tailpipe emissions from cars and trucks, while doing little to make good on a pledge to limit driving and boost public transit.

“It’s a big issue that the city is taking credit for reductions that aren’t real,” said Sophie Wolfram, director of programs for the San Diego-based Climate Action Campaign. “We need a transportation master plan, and we need to see it implemented. That’s been promised and not yet delivered.”

Mayor Kevin Faulconer declined to discuss progress on the climate plan for this story, but his staff provided a statement in writing that read in part: “There’s still a lot of work to do and progress to be made, but we’ve laid solid foundation to reach our climate goals over the next two decades.”

At the same time, the report released by the Climate Action Campaign last week did give the city credit for pursuing some strategies to reduce climate emissions.

The city has pledged to slash its carbon footprint by 15 percent below 2010 levels by 2020 and 50 percent by 2035. The goals are modeled on California’s targets to reduce emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and 40 percent below that by 2030.

The study found that, for example, Faulconer has acted on a commitment to run the city on 100 percent renewable energy within the next two decades, in large part, by considering a government-run alternative to San Diego Gas & Electric.

Faulconer’s office released an annual monitoring report on its climate plan in October that boasted about aggressive reductions in greenhouse gases that were based, in part, on a massive reduction in driving throughout the city.

The mayor’s office has since admitted the reductions in vehicle miles traveled, or VMT, weren’t real but rather a statistical anomaly based on inaccurate projections from the San Diego Association of Governments.

SANDAG grossly overstated the total number of miles being driven in the city in 2010 — thus creating the illusion of reductions when the modeling was updated in October 2015. The climate plan was adopted roughly two months later in December.

The city has yet to turn over internal communications on the issue requested by the Union-Tribune under a public records request filed in November.

Officials have maintained they acted in good faith, basing the climate plan on the information they believed most accurate at the time the blueprint was drafted.

“The city of San Diego is committed to using the best available emissions data and practices at the time of reporting, and the methodologies we use are consistent with those used regionally and statewide,” Cody Hooven, chief sustainability officer for the city, said in an email statement.

Beyond the false reductions in vehicle emissions, the city has made little progress on implementing strategies to get people out of their cars and onto sidewalks, bikes and public transit, the report found.

“The mayor has already indicated that there is going to be a significant reduction in the funding for bike facilities in this upcoming fiscal year, which just goes to show the commitment to hit the targets isn’t being made,” Wolfram said.

The climate plan calls for 22 percent of all commuters in transit corridors — those who live within a half-mile of a major transit stop — to bike, walk or take public transportation to work by 2020. The number of people in the city who use such alternative transportation has been stuck around 8 percent for years, according to Census data.

Faulconer’s team announced in February — more than two years after the climate plan’s adoption — that it will start surveying residents to assess the share of people commuting by car versus using public transit and other means.

Because of the flaws in the driving data, Climate Action Campaign has advocated the city focus exclusively on reducing the percentage of people who drive to work when evaluating progress on its climate goals.

The city has yet to say if it will change its metrics for evaluating progress on transportation goals in this year’s annual monitoring report.

 

Report finds San Diego’s progress on climate plan transportation goals illusory, by Joshua Emerson Smith, The San Diego Union-Tribune, February 12, 2018.

Climate Action Plan Report Card

About The Report

The San Diego Region Climate Action Plan Report Card offers an assessment of the region’s climate planning and climate action to help the public and local governments discern patterns and trends across a vast and scattered set of information.

Through this report, we hope to spur cities to take action to protect our region’s future with legally binding Climate Action Plans that include ambitious emissions reductions targets and best practices gleaned from models in the region. We hope also to arm residents throughout the region with a tool that increases transparency and enables them to hold their local government accountable for doing their part to reduce the pollution that causes climate change.

The Report Card will highlight specific target areas including: 100% clean energy, community choice energy, transportation alternatives, tree canopy coverage, zero waste, and social equity.

 

To access the full report please click this link to the Climate Action Campaign website.

Climate Action Plan Report Card, Climate Action Campaign, February 2018.

 

Oceanside joins cities looking at alternative energy plan

Oceanside has agreed to join three other North County cities sharing the costs of a study to determine the feasibility of forming a renewable-energy alternative to San Diego Gas & Electric Co.

The study, expected to be completed by mid-summer, will look at the possibility of creating a nonprofit joint-powers authority to purchase electricity at a lower cost and higher percentage of renewable sources than that provided by SDG&E. The program is called a Community Choice Aggregation, or community choice energy.

“We are always looking to do things in the most cost-effective manner that we can,” said Cari Dale, Oceanside’s water utilities director. “This looks to be very attractive to Oceanside residents.”

City officials have considered the possibility of a community choice energy program for more than a year, she said, but the cost of doing it alone probably would be prohibitive.

“This was the next official step,” Dale said.

SDG&E officials have said 43 percent of the energy they provide is from renewable-energy sources, one of the highest percentages in the West. The utility would continue to provide and maintain the grid of wires, utility poles and other infrastructure to carry electricity to consumers under the proposed program.

Encinitas decided last June to launch and lead the $100,000 feasibility study, and Del Mar immediately agreed to share the costs. Carlsbad signed on in July to pay an estimated $32,000 based on four participants.

Oceanside’s share of the cost of the study is estimated at $39,420. Each city’s portion is calculated based on 10 percent of the total cost, a 5 percent administrative fee, and a per capita amount.

“We are right at the beginning,” Encinitas climate plan administrator Crystal Najera said. “We have all the funding in place, and we are going full-speed ahead.”

EES Consulting, Inc., a national firm based in Seattle and Portland, has been contracted for the study, Najera said.

The results of the study will help the four cities decide their next steps, she said.

Solana Beach took a different route when it voted in May to offer community choice energy to its residents through a partnership with two private companies — The Energy Authority (TEA) and Calpine Energy Solutions. The city is on track to have the first community choice energy program in San Diego County.

One of San Diego County’s smallest cities, Solana Beach would have 7,800 customers in the program if no one opts out.

The county’s largest city, San Diego, completed a feasibility study last summer that concluded a community choice energy program could deliver cheaper rates than SDG&E and provide as much as 50 percent renewable energy by 2023 and 80 percent by 2027.

Several of the government-run energy providers have been formed so far across the state, the largest of which are in Northern California.

Los Angeles County is forming a community choice energy program that could start this year with the potential for 1.2 million customers. That would make it the largest in the state.

Many cities across California are considering similar programs as a way to meet state goals for increasing reliance on energy from solar, wind, hydroelectric and other renewable sources.

 

Oceanside joins cities looking at alternative energy plan, by Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, February 8,2018.

Mayor’s Minute: Ambitious Climate Action Plan a major achievement for Encinitas

In the month of January, one of the City Council’s most important actions was to confirm our environmental leadership in California. We unanimously adopted a 2018 Climate Action Plan that is only the second “gold standard Climate Action Plan” in the region, according to Climate Action Campaign Policy Advocate Sophie Wolfram. “Encinitas is setting the bar for what a Climate Action Plan developed in 2018 should look like and do,” she said during public comment. “We are excited to see the impact reverberate throughout the region.”

Encinitas adopting this climate plan is very significant. We are publicly stating that preventing climate change, or more accurately slowing its rate, is the right thing to do. The Encinitas goal is to cut emissions 41 percent below 2012 levels in just 12 years.

Cities play a major role in combating climate change, and plans are critical to achieving any goal. I love the succinct quote from the beloved author of The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, which should apply to every Climate Action Plan: “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

Our implementation plan is clearly organized and easy to monitor. It involves the city moving to Community Choice Energy, which is energy that is 100 percent renewable instead of fossil-fuel based.

We’ll also substantially reduce our waste stream — there’ll be more recycling and composting, and less trash in landfills. In addition, the plan involves more biking and walking infrastructure; more electric cars, including 100 percent zero emission vehicles for the city fleet; more recycled water; more shuttles to places such as Mira Costa (which currently has no public transit); and a bigger tree canopy. We’ll also require new homes and new commercial buildings to install solar water heaters. And the plan involves adopting a leaf blower ordinance that limits the use of 2-stroke leaf blowers. All of these things will not only reduce the amount of carbon we produce locally but will improve the quality of life for our residents.

In 2006 the state of California adopted the Global Warming Act which created a statewide greenhouse gas emission requirement for cities and counties to reduce emissions. In 2016 the targets were updated.

This Climate Action Plan will help us stay accountable and on-track. Even with inevitable changes in elected leaders and city staff, it also gives us the flexibility to learn as we go. Most of our city’s greenhouse gas emissions are generated by cars, but our main solution to reducing emissions will be through the purchase of clean energy. As we get more data about vehicle miles traveled and finalize our Active Transportation Plan, we’ll be able to improve and refine the plan regarding car emissions.

The City Council also unanimously supported a resolution opposing offshore oil drilling.

I’m particularly proud of our professional staff for implementing the vision that the elected leaders and our constituency in Encinitas have articulated. We’re constantly focusing on areas where we need to improve here at the city, but it’s also important to appreciate our achievements along the way.

Our new, ambitious and clearly defined Climate Action Plan is a gratifying success that all Encinitans can celebrate!

 

Mayor’s Minute: Ambitious Climate Action Plan a major achievement for Encinitas, by Catherine Blakespear, The Coast News Group, February 1, 2018.

“Four Cities Are Now Considering Community Choice Energy”

Last year, the cities of Encinitas, Carlsbad and Del Mar banded together to commission a study on the feasibility of dumping San Diego Gas & Electric and establishing a single community choice energy program, or CCE, which would give ratepayers the ability to choose the source of their energy.

That group has grown. Oceanside’s City Council learned in a memo last week that officials had quietly joined the study.

Nothing is set in stone. The feasibility study mainly looks at whether the joint or independent CCE program in North County makes financial sense, said Encinitas Climate Action Plan Program Administrator Crystal Najera.

Oceanside’s draft climate action plan estimates that electricity use resulted in about 25 percent of local greenhouse gas emissions produced in 2013. It also calls for exploring community choice energy to reduce emissions from residential electricity consumption.

Oceanside Environmental Officer Mo Lahsaie said the city was first unable to commit to the feasibility study because they didn’t have a firm cost. When the final figure came back in December, Oceanside was able to approve it within the City Manager’s authority, without having to bring it to the full council.

The costs so far have been shared proportional to each city’s size, but that could pose a problem for any possible joint venture if the largest, but poorest city – Oceanside – has to fund a large part of the cost.

North County cities are putting a lot of stock in CCE programs to help them achieve their greenhouse gas reduction targets.

According to the Encinitas Climate Action Dashboard, switching 80 percent of the city’s electric consumers to renewable energy is the single largest action the city can take to reach its reduction goals by 2030.

Najera said establishing a CCE program is roughly equivalent to all other greenhouse gas reduction measures the city can take.

“Of all the measures within our climate action plan, establishing a community choice energy program and converting to renewable energy would get us halfway to our goal by 2030…so it’s a big chunk,” she said.

Najera added that the dynamic around energy procurement is changing as more CCE programs come online, and the study will evaluate different structures for the cities to explore. One option is a joint powers authority, where the cities form a common organization, saving overhead and administrative costs, as well as boosting purchasing power for all the partners.

The study will also evaluate how it will look for the cities to go it alone. The results are expected to be released in June.

 

Four Cities Are Now Considering Community Choice Energy,” by Ruarri Serpa, Voice of San Diego, January 31, 2018.

Tule Wind Farm now producing electricity

After 13 years of bureaucratic and legal battles, the Tule Wind Farm in a rugged area of San Diego’s East County is now producing electricity.

  • The project’s 57 wind turbines loom over the landscape along Interstate 8.
  • The turbines are 262 feet high and have blades attached to rotors that have a diameter of 351 feet — more than the length of a football field.
  • The company running the project says it will generate enough electricity to supply the equivalent of about 40,000 homes with power.
  • But opponents say the project will harm the area’s habitat and kill birds, especially golden eagles.

The Tule Wind Project gets up and running: Here’s the full story

They loom over the rugged and blustery terrain of the McCain Valley in San Diego’s East County — 57 wind turbines, each equipped with three blades that rotate like massive pinwheels.

“I think it looks elegant, but I’ve always thought that, even before I got into this business,” said Harley McDonald, senior business developer at Avangrid Renewables, the Oregon-based company that operates the Tule Wind Farm that opened Jan. 12.

The towers are not concentrated in a single location. Instead, they cover an expanse of about 5 miles, connected by dirt roads. They loom so high that no driver traveling on Interstate 8 can miss them.

The turbines climb 262 feet into the sky and the blades attached to each rotor stretch to a diameter of 351 feet — more than the length of a football field — in order to catch the maximum amount of wind that consistently blows through the area’s rocks, brush, cacti and canyons.

Up close, the sheer height of the turbines is visually striking. The sound is consistent but almost tidal, as the massive blades rise and fall with each rhythmic and powerful swoop.

The project took 13 years to go from concept to reality and in the period between, the company had to navigate its way through the bureaucratic challenges that accompany the permitting process and withstand a series of lawsuits filed by opponents who said the turbines will disrupt the rugged backcountry that includes bighorn sheep on the ground and golden eagles in the air.

“It’s very sad to hear the project is up and running,” said April Maurath Sommer, executive director of the Protect Our Communities Foundation. “We really support the transition to a cleaner grid but it should be a cleaner grid that is truly sustainable and projects that are particularly hard on imperiled wildlife and in areas that are undeveloped and have a unique, pristine habitat are not sustainable.”

The operators of the 131.1-megawatt Tule Wind Farm predict the project will generate enough electricity to equal the power needed by about 40,000 homes a year and help the area meet state and local clean-energy goals.

Under the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, California’s publicly owned utilities must procure 50 percent of their electricity from eligible renewable energy resources by 2030.

The City of San Diego Climate Action Plan requires annual emissions be cut in half by 2035.

Southern California Edison has signed a 15-year power purchase agreement and the wind farm is connected to a nearby substation operated by San Diego Gas & Electric.

“This is a step in the right direction of becoming energy independent,” said McDonald, who has spent eight years working on the project.

Officials at Avangrid Renewables would not disclose how much the project cost — saying the information was proprietary — but judging by the generally accepted industry standards, a project the size of Tule would come to more than $200 million in construction costs.

The company said the project is expected to deliver more than $39 million in state and local tax benefits over 25 years. Eight full-time employees work at the site.

The Tule Wind Farm takes up about 12,000 acres and Avangrid plans to add 24 more turbines in the near future.

Called Tule II, the expansion received the go-ahead from the State Lands Commission in 2016 for a 40-year lease but McDonald said more permits need to be obtained before construction starts.

Seven of the turbines designated for construction at Tule II will be on state land and 17 are slated to be erected on land belonging to the Ewiiaapaayp Band of Kumeyaay Indians.

The Protect Our Communities Foundation (POC), which lost in its attempts in court to derail the first phase of the project from being built, is trying to stop Tule II as well.

Arguing that an expansion will harm habitat and kill golden eagles, POC says the federal government’s Bureau of Indian Affairs did not follow its own procedures when it OK’d Tule II.

A U.S. District court judge ruled against POC in March 2017 but the group has filed an appeal with the Ninth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals.

“These eagles are just going to get ground to death,” Sommer Maurath said.

McDonald said Avangrid has been careful to make sure wildlife and birds are protected.

“We did several years of environmental studies to make sure the project was properly sited and that the impacts that we would have would be minimal,” McDonald said. “We found that this project is in the right location at the right time.”

McDonald expects Tule II to be completed in 2020 or 2021.

 

Tule Wind Farm now producing electricity, by Rob Nikolewski, The San Diego Union-Tribune, January 25, 2018.

Encinitas Is 5th City In Region To Adopt 100% Clean Energy Target

ENCINITAS, CA – From the Climate Action Campaign: This evening, the city of Encinitas voted unanimously to pass a gold-standard Climate Action Plan with a legal commitment to 100% clean electricity and to reduce overall GHG emissions by 2030. This makes Encinitas the 5th city in San Diego County to commit to a 100% clean energy future.

“Adopting this ambitious Climate Action Plan is a reflection of our environmental commitment. We take our stewardship seriously. Investing in a plan to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions is doing our part as a city. It’s in line with Encinitas values,” said Mayor Catherine Blakespear.

Encinitas will commit to Community Choice Energy as the mechanism to reach 100% clean electricity, and they are pursuing a feasibility study in partnership with Del Mar and Carlsbad. Encinitas further committed to develop mode share targets for biking, walking and transit, transition its municipal fleet to zero-emissions vehicles, and implement numerous measures to increase energy efficiency.

“We congratulate the city of Encinitas for adopting a gold-standard plan with Community Choice Energy. This CAP supports aggressive action to reduce the city’s carbon footprint while enhancing our quality of life” said Sophie Wolfram, Policy Advocate with Climate Action Campaign.

San Diego County has the highest number of commitments to 100% clean electricity of any county in the United States. The other cities include San Diego, Solana Beach, Del Mar and Chula Vista. More cities are expected to make a similar commitment.

Councilmember Tasha Horvath-Smith, a leader for climate action on the City Council stated, “It is our moral and political imperative to do our part to fight against climate change and leave the planet better than we found it. I am proud of our ambitious yet attainable climate action plan with a commitment to 100% renewables, focus on greater energy efficiency and reducing mobile sources of pollution.”

Climate Action Campaign will release the second annual Climate Action Plan Report Card next month, which will evaluate the climate plans of all 18 cities and the county, with a new focus on implementation.

 

Encinitas Is 5th City In Region To Adopt 100% Clean Energy Target, by News Desk, January 19, 2018.

San Diego to Develop Hydropower Energy Storage Project

Black & Veatch, with headquarters in Kansas, U.S.,  has been selected to serve as owners’ representative for an energy storage facility at the San Vicente Reservoir near Lakeside in San Diego County, California. The project owners, the San Diego County Water Authority and the City of San Diego, are assessing the potential to develop the 500 MW San Vicente Energy Storage Facility  to increase the availability of renewable energy for the region. It could potentially provide enough stored energy to supply approximately 325,000 homes annually.

As the owners’ representative, Black & Veatch will help evaluate proposals, select the full service team and negotiate the project delivery agreement.

The SVESF will store energy by pumping water to an upper reservoir when energy demand is low and releasing water from the upper reservoir through turbines when energy demand is high. The “pumped hydro” energy storage solution would support power grid operations and enable significant and sustained integration of renewable wind and solar energy into the power supply mix.

The SVESF project includes the establishment of a small reservoir above the existing San Vicente Reservoir as well as a tunnel system and underground powerhouse to connect the two reservoirs. The powerhouse would contain reversible pump-turbines that would lift water to the upper reservoir or generate energy as it flows down.

During peak energy demand, water would flow downhill to turn hydroelectric turbines. During off-peak periods, including daytime when renewable energy supplies exceed demand, water would be pumped to the upper reservoir.

“Growing demand centers, particularly in drought-prone areas like Southern California, require holistic water planning solutions,” said Kevin Davis, Black & Veatch Associate Vice President and Project Manager. “This project would marry investments in water system resilience with renewable energy deployment, helping to reduce greenhouse gases.”

 

San Diego to Develop Hydropower Energy Storage Project, by Dan McCue, Renewable Energy World, January 22, 2018.

Padres installing baseball’s biggest solar project

Petco Park is about to become home to the largest solar power system in Major League Baseball.

  • Workers have begun to install a 336,520-watt project, with 716 solar modules that can produce more than 12 million kilowatt-hours of electricity in the next 25 years.
  • The project will be large — bigger than the solar systems installed by seven other teams combined.
  • The system will be installed on the stadium’s roof and is expected to be ready by the Padres’ season opener March 29.

The Padres go big on solar: Here’s the full story

There are no guarantees how the rebuilding Padres will do this coming season but on the energy front, the team is about to become baseball’s undisputed leader in the solar standings.

Construction of the largest solar power system in Major League Baseball has begun at Petco Park — a 336,520-watt project comprised of 716 high-efficiency, 470-watt solar modules expected to produce more than 12 million kilowatt-hours over the next 25 years.

Seven other teams in the majors have installed solar facilities in recent years but at a Wednesday news conference announcing the plans, officials said the Padres’ solar array will be larger than all the other teams’ facilities combined.

“This project really checked all the boxes for us,” said Erik Greupner, Padres chief operating officer. “It’s something that will generate energy savings for us over time and it’s consistent with the priorities to our fan base and to the city of San Diego.”

Workers from San Diego-based Sullivan Solar Power began installing the modules earlier this week and the Padres anticipate the project will be wrapped up in time for the team’s season opener March 29 against Milwaukee.

The panels will be mounted on the park’s roof, and one-quarter of the panels will hang over the stadium’s high canopy. More than a mile of electrical conductors will send solar electricity to the park’s distribution center.

“This is the most complex installation we have seen in a very long time,” said Daniel Sullivan, the president of Sullivan Solar Power.

Sullivan said the project cost the Padres about $1 million but predicted the team will save enough money from a combination of lower electricity bills and renewable tax credits that the project will pay for itself in about six or seven years.

“It makes all the other systems (in baseball) look a lot smaller so the Padres are going into the season in first place,” Sullivan said.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer helped spearhead the city’s Climate Action Plan, that calls for 100 percent of the city’s energy coming from renewable sources and cutting the city’s greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2035.

Faulconer attended the Padres news conference and said the city has cut greenhouse gas emissions 19 percent, bettering its goal of a 15 percent cut by 2020.

“This is not a partisan issue in San Diego, it’s the right thing to do for our environment,” Faulconer said. The Padres’ solar project “will send an extremely positive message to businesses large and small, not just in San Diego but across the entire region.”

The Padres have also made investments in energy efficiency programs. In 2016, the team estimated it reduced energy usage by more than 40 percent through water savings and LED lighting.

The installation of about 400 LED lights aimed at the playing field were estimated to reduce enough energy to take 660 cars off the road for a year.

“We think energy efficiency and sustainability is something that matters to our mayor, to our city, to the people of our city and it matters to us,” Greupner said.

The solar project is not the only new addition to Petco Park this season. A new $2 million video board is being erected over the right field seats.

“What we’ve been challenged with by our ownership group is they don’t want the ballpark to ever appear to look more than three years old,” Greupner said.

 

Padres installing baseball’s biggest solar project, by Rob Nikolewski, The San Diego Union-Tribune, January 17, 2018.