U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Water Power Program

San Francisco to Provide Green Power to an Entire Neighborhood

December 20, 2006

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) will soon supply 100 percent green power to a neighborhood that is now under construction. Under an agreement approved on December 14th, the SFPUC and Lennar BVHP, the site developer, will create a "Green Public Power Community" on a 93-acre parcel located at the former Hunters Point Naval Shipyard. The neighborhood will include more than 1,600 new residential units and 300,000 square feet of commercial and retail space. Initially, the SFPUC will supply solar and hydroelectric power to the community, but as new technologies become available, this and other future green power communities will be first in line for other green power sources.

Under the new agreement, SFPUC will procure and provide energy services to the community and ensure that rates charged to residents and businesses in the new neighborhood are the same or lower than current retail and commercial electric rates. As part of the agreement, Lennar BVHP will contribute $2 million towards the cost of providing renewable energy to customers in the new neighborhood. The Lennar funds could possibly be allocated towards the construction of rooftop solar facilities within the development. See the SFPUC press release and the Hunters Point Shipyard Web site.

A number of recent reports have found continued growth in the green power market. Two reports issued in November by DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found that green power sales brokered by utilities grew by 40 percent in 2005, while total green power sales increased 37 percent. Due to a growth in sales of renewable energy credits to businesses, the non-residential market for green power exceeded the residential market for the first time that year. Green power sales certified by the "Green-e" program of the Center for Resource Solutions (CRS) saw a similar trend, up 43 percent in 2005. As of 2005, voluntary green power purchases were supporting 2,500 megawatts of renewable power, of which 2,000 megawatts were new renewable projects. Not ready to settle for that, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is challenging Fortune 500 companies to double their green power purchases this year. See the NREL reports, "Trends in Utility Green Pricing Programs (2005)" (PDF 811 KB) and "Green Power Marketing in the United States: A Status Report (Ninth Edition)" (PDF 1.5 MB), the CRS press release, and the EPA Fortune 500 Green Power Challenge. Download Adobe Reader.