News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


PRESS RELEASE 07/15/2008
Subject :

Palo Alto Signs Up Its Largest Solar Power Installation
Contact : Lindsay Joye, Marketing Engineer, City of Palo Alto Utilities    650-329-2680
$2.2 million incentive enables healthcare company Roche Palo Alto to install solar energy facility; Palo Alto gets renewable energy credits for PaloAltoGreen program

Palo Alto, CA - The City of Palo Alto Utilities today announced that Roche Palo Alto has applied for the largest solar power system ever to be installed within city limits. The 112,000 square foot photovoltaic system will be mounted on the rooftops of several buildings on the Roche Palo Alto campus and will generate an estimated 1,398,194 kilowatt hours in electricity each year.  

The system at Roche will be one of the largest privately owned commercial solar power systems in California according to the PV Resources ( When operating at peak capacity, the system will generate enough electricity to power approximately 172 Palo Alto homes. The clean energy that the system is expected to deliver will help avoid up to 700 metric tons of CO2 emissions each year. The system is expected to be operating and producing clean, renewable electricity by the end of 2008.     

The Roche Palo Alto project was launched through the combined efforts of three partners: the City of Palo Alto, Solar Power Partners, Inc., and Cupertino Electric. The City of Palo Alto will provide an estimated $2,240,000 performance-based rebate with payments made to the renewable energy company, Solar Power Partners, over five years. These incentive payments will be based on the actual production of the facility. The City will purchase Renewable Energy Credits from the system’s electrical output to contribute locally generated solar power to be added to the supply mix for the PaloAltoGreen program.   

"Palo Alto strives to be a leader in climate protection and in the promotion of renewable energy, and Roche is leading the way in Palo Alto." said Joyce Kinnear, Manager of Utility Marketing Services at the City of Palo Alto Utilities. 

The system will be built by Cupertino Electric, and owned and maintained by Solar Power Partners (SPP™) based in Mill Valley, California. SPP provides a turn-key performance-based service bundling development of the systems and on-going management with financing through a Power Purchase Agreement. The agreement facilitates customers adopting renewable energy while eliminating the burden of owning and operating a solar facility.  

"Roche is very excited about this new facility," said David Austin, President, Roche Palo Alto. "We’re committed to innovation in sustainable business practices such as this."  

Solar Power Partners President and CEO, Alexander V. Welczeck, added, "We are pleased to work with Roche, a corporate world leader that continues to demonstrate its responsibility and dedication to improving quality of life through using renewable energy."   

Roche Palo Alto is the single largest purchaser of clean, renewable energy through the City of Palo Alto’s Utilities PaloAltoGreen program, which allows customers to buy 100% renewable energy for their homes and businesses. The company has won numerous awards for its community and environmental programs.

About Roche
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is one of the world’s leading research-focused healthcare groups in the fields of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. As the world’s biggest biotech company and an innovator of products and services for the early detection, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, the Group contributes on a broad range of fronts to improving people’s health and quality of life. Roche employs around 79,000 people and is a world leader in diagnostics, the leading supplier of medicines for cancer and transplantation, and a market leader in virology. Roche Palo Alto LLC is one of the company’s six pharmaceutical research centers, specializing in the discovery and early clinical development of innovative new medicines to treat inflammatory, respiratory and viral diseases. Additional information is available on the Internet at and  - Media Contact: Brian Hoey, Roche Palo Alto, (650) 855-5204

About PaloAltoGreen
PaloAltoGreen is a voluntary renewable energy program offered to all residential, commercial and industrial customers within Palo Alto as a way to support energy generated from 100% clean wind and solar power resources at a low additional cost of 1.5 cents per kilowatt-hour. PaloAltoGreen is the number one voluntary renewable energy program in the country based on customer participation rate, with over 20% of Palo Alto Utilities customers enrolled in the program.  City of Palo Alto Utilities customers can sign up for PaloAltoGreen by calling (650) 329-2161 or enrolling online at

About Solar Power Partners, Inc.
Solar Power Partners, Inc. (SPP) is a California based renewable energy company that is leading the way in streamlining adoption of clean solar energy by businesses, institutions and municipalities throughout the United States of America.  SPP combines best-of-breed technologies and the expertise and best practices of top solar and building industry professionals with the financing strength of Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) giving building owners a clear path to achieving energy independence with lower electrical costs at predictable rates and without the risks or costs of owning and maintaining solar facilities. For more information please see - Media Contact: Peter Stoll,  Solar Power Partners, (415) 877-1313 

About Cupertino Electric, Inc.
Cupertino Electric, Inc (CEI) is nationally recognized as a premier provider of Electrical Contracting Services in the United States.  Incorporated in 1954 and headquartered San Jose, California, CEI is consistently rated as one of the Top 10 Design/Build Contractors in the US and has been a leader in shaping the Electrical Industry.  CEI Energy Alternatives (CEI-EA) engineers, procures and constructs Solar Energy projects and other Alternative  Energy projects that, through comprehensive analysis,  provide state of the art site specific solutions to its customers for managing their energy needs and meeting their sustainable building and operating goals.  To learn more please go to