Pacifica Tribune July 18, 2007


It’s been a year since the dedication of the Calera Creek Photovoltaic system. Where are the numbers? Here are my guesses:

The 500,000 kw-hr of power produced by our PV system over the past year replaced about $60,000 worth of electricity. This is a terrible return on a $3.1 million societal investment, even if Pacifica got a discount to $1.8M.  These discounts are part of the reason AlGore only pays 6 cents per kw-hr for his Tennessee home and we pay 16.

Now, we’re told that the diesels at the sewer plant may burn biodiesel to make electricity. Biodiesel from recycled cooking oil is a terrific idea for your car, especially if you can get hobbyists’ free labor to help keep the costs down.  But, it makes no sense (cents) for the 7 kw-hrs of electricity you can squeeze from a 3 or 4-dollar gallon of biodiesel, even if maintenance and capital costs are free.  Can someone please do the math?