“Right from the start, Vista Solar impressed us with their willingness to work together to keep our costs down without sacrificing the integrity of the project. Vista provided us with both a pleasant and effective partnership.”

– Gwen Goodman, Silicon Valley Power


Multiple solar wins for the city of Santa Clara with the new installation as it advances the city’s green energy goals, brings Santa Clara a little nearer electric power self-sufficiency, utilizes an otherwise unusable land parcel, and helps bring the city new revenues through the California Air Resources Board ( greenhouse gas (GHG) cap-and-trade program.

In addition, it’s a win for Silicon Valley Power (SVP), Santa Clara’s city-owned electric utility, because as part of the research partnership, MiaSolé donated the panels – keeping project costs down.

“The project demonstrates a new level of cooperation between our business community and SVP,” said SVP Director John Roukema. “This is a significant step to determine the potential of partnering with local companies as well as utilizing land for energy production that otherwise would remain vacant.”

Built on a limited-access parcel that’s bordered by Agilent Technologies, Interstate 280 and Jenny Strand Park, the installation will generate 125 kilowatts (kW) of electricity – enough to power 15 homes. It will also prevent as much as 72 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere – pollution that would otherwise be created by fossil fuel electric generation.

Vista Solar of Santa Clara was the installation contractor for the 1.5-acre PV array, which is the second community solar project finished in Santa Clara in summer 2012. Henry Schmidt Park received a 15kW rooftop system that was funded by an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA, aka The Stimulus Program).

Santa Clara’s green energy program has received $14.8 million from cap-and-trade program, according to the city’s most recent financial report. “The policies we’ve set through Silicon Valley Power are not just a benefit to the health and well-being of the city,” said Council Member Jamie McLeod at the Dec. 4 Council meeting, “but a financial benefit to the city as well.

“We’re doing what’s right and we’re creating a revenue stream [for the city],” added Mayor Jamie Matthews. “That’s a pretty good combination.”

See more projects like this here.

*Annual savings based on Year 1 of installation in operation.