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Long Beach Moves Forward on Solar Panel Project
The rooftops of up to 15 city structures could soon be dotted with solar panels, generating clean energy in effort to reduce the city’s carbon footprint.
The City Council this week green-lighted talks with PFMG Solar to iron out a power purchase agreement for the project, expected to save several million dollars in electricity costs over the next two decades, according to city documents.
As part of the deal, the Huntington Beach-based firm will cover all costs to design, install and maintain the solar panel systems, which PFMG would own; the city would then purchase 100 percent of the power generated for up to 25 years, depending on the specific terms tied to each installation.
Public Works Director Craig Beck said this is the second go-round on this agreement, first approved in 2014 with SunEdison, a firm that later declared bankruptcy amid the design process. The city initiated a new bid process in 2016, and selected PFMG Solar to do the work.
“I feel Long Beach is a little bit behind the curve in adding solar to its facilities so I am really happy we are getting to the point of creating some green power in the city,” he said.
PFMG is the same firm that developed a system of solar panels recently installed on 12 carport structures at the Port of Long Beach as part of an ongoing $1.3 billion project to upgrade two old container terminals at the port.
Details of the city agreement are still a bit foggy because each proposed site needs to be evaluated before a solar panel system could be designed and installed, Beck said. Right now, Long Beach is looking at up to 15 city structures, including the rooftops of several parking garages — sites that could help reduce the “heat island” effect often generated in dense, urban areas.
“When you start looking at opportunities to place solar panels, garages and parking lots are great places,” he said.
Included in the list of potential sites are the City Place, Aquarium of the Pacific and Pike parking structures. Beck said the Long Beach Airport, Health Department and Gas & Oil Department buildings will likely be the first sites finalized by the city. He said he’s hopeful the city will have something concrete in the next 90 days so construction can begin.
“There is a fear out there about how long these solar incentives will remain in place, so we are ready to start fast-tracking this.”
By Courtney Tompkins, Long Beach Press Telegram
PFMG Solar develops highly productive, extremely cost effective solar power systems that are good for the environment. We are part of the community, involved and concerned, especially for the young students, who are learning and desire hope for their future and many generations to follow. We have evolved from merely a firm who delivers an excellent service, to a Partner who wants to contribute to the greater good For Many Generations.
7777 Center Ave. Suite 200
Huntington Beach, CA 92647