DryTown Water Park is one of the three solar generation sites.

PALMDALE, CA—Energy service provider Constellation has revealed plans to build a 978-kilowatt solar generation system in Palmdale. The system, which is expected to be completed later this year, will help the city meet state renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction requirements while eliminating 1.8 million pounds of carbon dioxide each year.

“We are very proud of what this project is going to accomplish,” says Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford. “It not only will save the taxpayer money, but it will help the city meet its greenhouse gas reduction requirements and goals, and allow us to keep our renewable energy credits for future use.” Constellation is financing the project, and will own and operate it once complete. The city, however, has an agreement with Constellation to purchase the clean energy at a fixed-rate for the next 20 years.

The solar generator is located on three sites: Palmdale’s Civic Center, DryTown Water Park and Marie Kerr Park. Constellation estimates it will generate 1,800 mega-watt hours of energy each year, saving the city $40,000 annually in electricity costs.  “We are very pleased that the city of Palmdale’s leadership has considered both the financial and environmental health of the city by installing solar power at three locations,” says Paul Mikos, president, PsomasFMG, which helped the city develop the project. “With no capital outlay, the city will reduce its ever increasing utility bill and its carbon footprint at the same time.”

The city and Constellation also took into account the aesthetic quality of the project. The design blend in with the city surroundings, which was accomplished in part by placing the system’s 3,200 photovoltaic panels on shade structures. “We’re also proud that we took the extra steps to make these structures more aesthetically appealing by adding color and architectural features so that they are visually compatible with their surroundings,” says Mayor Ledford.

The city of Los Angeles is also committed to generating solar power. It’s solar panel rooftop program, where businesses install solar panels on the building rooftops and sell the power back tot the city, is achieving the forecasted goals. By 2015, the program is expected to generate more the 100 megawatts of clean power for the city.