The California Water Service Company will be saving soon, thanks to the power of solar. "We're very excited that we've been given the approval to build a solar project for our office complex" said Mike Pembroke, District Manager for Cal. Water.
The California Public Utilities Commission approved the instillation of the panels on three of the roofs for Cal Water back in February. Cal Water District manager Mike Pembrokes says the project has been in the works for more than five years. "It's been a long process, but in the end it's been successful" Pembroke stated.
405 solar panels will be up and running by the end of next week. They will generate close to 75% of Cal Water's power demand. Chico Electric is currently installing the panels. Cal Water currently has a yearly electric bill of around 27,000 dollars. They expect that will go down to roughly seven thousand once the panels are in use. " It's going to be beneficial not only to the company, but to our customers in long term" Pembroke said.
But customers will end up paying more for the project. Cal Water's 100,000 customers in the Chico area will see an increase of five cents per month on their bill starting in 2011. "Then they will see a savings over the next 24 years in our utility bill which is a benefit to them" Pembroke explained.
The panels will also help the environment. Solar electricity does not emit Co2, which will help make the company more sustainable, something the City of Chico is a leader in. "We wanted to be a part of that, be part of the community and support the city goal of sustainability" said Pembroke.