Romberg Center’s solar-electric generation system earns rebate from PG&E Co.

TIBURON, Calif., Oct. 13, 2003 — Pacific Gas and Electric Company recently paid $142,623 to San Francisco State University’s Romberg Center for Environmental Science in Tiburon for its completed solar-electric photovoltaic (PV) system.

The PV system, rated at nearly 32 kilowatts with an impressive array of 228 solar panels, provides electricity for the conference center at the SFSU Romberg Tiburon Environmental Learning Center and the campus’ Toyota RAV-4 EV (Electric Vehicle.) The environmental center’s system is one of several PV systems that have been installed or are planned in Marin County.

“The Self Generation Incentive Program provided a terrific financial incentive for us when we decided to move forward with a self-generating, sustainable power supply for the conference center. The program reduced our out-of-pocket expenses by half and brought our payback period down to 20 years,” said Alissa Arp, director of the Romberg Tiburon Center. “In addition, our equipment supplier, RWE SCHOTT Solar, worked very closely with our contractor, providing engineering and design services specifically for our building. The end-result is a high-quality product and installation that we expect to help service our energy needs for the next 25 years.” The utility’s rebate covers nearly half the cost of the project.

“Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s commitment to solar power and renewable energy has never wavered and we are proud to have partnered with the Romberg Center,” said Anlin Ting-Mason, vice president of Internet and Energy Program Services. “This project represents one of the many ways in which PG&E is striving to ensure that energy supply and demand remain in balance, while helping customers save money on their energy bills.”

Tom Starrs, executive vice president for sales and marketing for RWE SCHOTT Solar, Inc. added, “The Romberg Tiburon Center’s investment in our PV system is a reflection of their mission to prepare the environmental leadership of the future. They are leading by example, not only generating clean power for the center, but also using their PV system to charge their electric vehicle. In addition, they are helping people understand the short- and long-term value of photovoltaics, making public the daily and yearly power generation of the system as well as the pounds and tons of greenhouse gases saved.”

Pacific Gas and Electric Company is providing the financial incentive for the PV systems through a program that allows customers installing on-site electric generation to obtain rebates to help offset the upfront costs. Systems that are eligible include solar, wind, fuel cell, micro turbine or internal combustion engine systems. The program, titled the Self-Generation Incentive Program, is primarily designed for business-sized systems, which help to meet some, or all, of a facility’s power needs. The California Energy Commission offers a similar program targeted to residential customers who install renewable generation sources, such as solar and wind.

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