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SLO’s largest solar project goes live, powering the County and advancing California’s clean energy transition

The County
Posted at 12:27 PM, Apr 20, 2021

The County of San Luis Obispo has completed a 1.2 MW ground-mounted solar energy project at its County Operations Center facility. The system is expected to offset 10% of the County’s total energy usage with renewable energy.

Developed by ForeFront Power, SLO’s largest solar project includes a total of 3,294 solar modules ground-mounted on 6 acres of land behind the County Honor Farm. The County expects that, over the next 20 years, the project will offset nearly 74 million pounds of carbon dioxide, and yield an estimated $6 million in net savings, which will reduce the County's operating expenses and contribute to renewable energy procurement goals.

“This project is a significant step forward to reaching our County goal of procuring 20 percent of our energy from renewable sources,” said Annie Secrest, Energy and Water Coordinator for the County of San Luis Obispo. “With this project energized, the County now derives over 12 percent of its energy from solar power. This helps us mitigate increasing electricity rates and better control our operating expenses.”

The County Operations Center solar project also generates enough electricity to avoid an additional 1,735 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year. This is roughly equivalent to removing 375 gas-powered passenger vehicles from the road annually.

Through a power purchase agreement with ForeFront Power, the County will purchase the electricity generated by the County Operations Center at a lower rate than it could obtain from the local utility.

“We are pleased to have helped the County of San Luis Obispo reduce electricity costs through on-site solar generation," said Casey Miller, Project Manager, Project Development, at ForeFront Power. “Together with our two previously installed canopy systems, the County Operations Center solar project adds more clean, renewable energy to help the County achieve its long-term energy and climate goals.”

In 2020, ForeFront Power energized the County of San Luis Obispo’s first two solar energy projects at the County’s Department of Parks and Recreation’s Dairy Creek Golf Course and El Chorro Regional Park, and the Department of Social Services.