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


PRESS RELEASE 12/15/2008
Subject :

City of Palo Alto signs agreement to Purchase Solar Renewable Energy Certificates from the Solar Installation at Roche Palo Alt
Contact : Lindsay Joye, Marketing Engineer, City of Palo Alto Utilities    650-329-2680
Shiva Swaminathan, City of Palo Alto Utilities    650-329-2465
    Senior Resource Planner
Palo Alto, CA - The City of Palo Alto today announced that Solar Power Partners Inc., (SPP) has signed an agreement with the City to sell Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) to the City from the largest solar power system ever to be installed within city limits. The 906 kW DC photovoltaic (PV) system is in the process of being mounted on the rooftops of several buildings on the Roche Palo Alto campus and will generate up to 1.4 million kilowatt hours in electricity each year. The SRECs, the renewable energy and environmental attributes associated with the solar project, will be used for the City's PaloAltoGreen program and enable the program members to support local solar installations. 

The system at Roche is one of the largest privately owned commercial solar power systems in California. 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, Inc. In addition to funding the project through the solar REC purchase, the City of Palo Alto will also 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. 

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

The system is being built by Cupertino Electric, and will be owned and maintained by Solar Power Partners, which is based in Mill Valley, California. SPP provides a turnkey, performance-based service that includes development, operations and maintenance of the systems and financing through a solar Power Purchase Agreement. This agreement helps customers to adopt renewable energy by eliminating the upfront capital costs and long-term responsibility for operating and maintaining a solar facility.

“Solar Power Partners is proud to be teaming with the City of Palo Alto and Cupertino Electric on this exciting project to provide a stellar solar solution to Roche Palo Alto. We believe this facility is a wonderful example of what can be accomplished by customers striving to adopt solar and also of the City of Palo Alto’s overall support for renewable energy,” said Alex v. Welczeck, CEO of Solar Power Partners.

About PaloAltoGreen
PaloAltoGreen is a voluntary renewable energy program offered to all residential, commercial and industrial customers within Palo Alto as a way for customers to support energy generated from 100% clean wind and solar power resources. 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.

About Cupertino Electric, Inc.