Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Lean and Clean San Francisco

With a $100M bond, and a goal to grow renewable power from 2 MW to 35 MW in a decade, San Francisco is aggressively trying to establish itself as a Green City leader. To speed up the deployment of renewable power in the City, the Public Utilities C0mission recently posted a Request for Information (RFI). (link)

I've written in the past about Wind Permits, and seeing RFIs like these are exactly the kinds of efforts required to accelerate and tear down procedural and policy hurdles to clean wind tech.

From the RFI:

"While San Francisco has a fairly high rate of renewable-power installation relative to other US cities, these number
fall far short of the ambitious goals proposed in the City’s 2002 Electricity Resource Plan. The plan called for 50 megawatts of installed solar PV and 72 megawatts of local distributed generation capacity city-wide by the end of 2012, as well as 150 megawatts of wind power located outside San Francisco. "

In fact, Wind-Sail's first pilot install on Treasure Island is considered as a "municipal" project, and it is our hope that we can begin to accelerate the permitting and ordinance issues by working directly with the City and SFPUC to "streamline" permitting. From our response:

The single most important accelerator for our business is to demonstrate the feasibility and practicality of our systems in urban environments. As such, we are very flexible to leasing, donating or partnering with SFPUC to provide these turbines for new city projects. Our specific objective in responding to this RFI and with success, participating in the acceleration of clean distributed energy in city projects is to demonstrate that leading, flagship city municipalities such as San Francisco can accelerate the permitting and approval process for wind turbines.

In addition, we believe there exists a strong possibility to incorporate urban based jobs programs and in fact, are working with the Treasure Island Jobs Corps center[1] to train workers on the installation and management of wind turbines at the Wind-Sail Treasure Island project. We believe this limited opportunity could be expanded to additional projects city-wide that combine new, clean wind power applications with technical job skills development and training.

Addendum: Nathan Nayman of the SF Examiner also has an additional write-up for the effort here. (link)