In the past couple weeks, some big green news has been coming out of San Francisco. First there was the news that San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors have approved a plan to construct the largest solar photovoltaic array, with 5 MW capacity, on top of Sunset Reservoir. Recurrent Energy will construct the array and sell the power to the city at a fixed rate of 23.5 cents per kWh, plus 3% inflation per year. The city could potentially get cheaper rates by constructing it themselves, but they would not be eligable for the significant federal tax breaks that a private company gets, which could cover up to half the cost of the project.
And last week, Mayor Newsom announced that the latest numbers on San Francisco’s recycling program were in and they were achieving 72% diversion from landfills, which seems like they are well on their way to 75% diversion by next year. The SF program includes recycling of almost all plastics, mandatory construction material recycling, and a food scrap collection program which generates compost that is sold to local farms. Compare that to NYC’s 2008 residential diversion rate of 16.5% and you can see what an amazing achievement this is. Hopefully they can teach the rest of the country some tips.