SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. – The County of Santa Clara and energy partners celebrated Earth Day with a Fuel Cell and “Watts for Wishes” ceremony to highlight both the County’s move toward 100% renewable/alternative energy use, and the alternative and renewable energy industry’s support of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The County of Santa Clara, Alternative Energy Development Group, Bloom Energy, and Washington Gas Energy Systems, flipped the switch on the new 800 kilowatt Fuel Cell system at Elmwood Correctional Facility, and presented a $22,500 check to Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area to fulfill wishes of three children with life-threatening illnesses.
“With today’s Earth Day celebration, we now have two of four fuel cell installations complete,” said President Mike Wasserman, County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors. “The County of Santa Clara is making big strides toward a 100% use of clean and renewable energy for County facilities.”
The fuel cell project has made it possible for partners to come together in support of renewable and clean energy, and to dedicate resources to a program that also brings attention to children diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses. A child is diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition in the United States and its territories, on average, every 38 minutes.
"Giving back to the communities with whom we develop clean energy projects is among the highest honors we have," said Chris Fraga, Founder & CEO of Alternative Energy Development Group, and the "Watts for Wishes" charitable giving program. "On behalf of the County of Santa Clara, Bloom Energy, Washington Gas, and the numerous partners and colleagues involved in the county’s' clean energy projects, it is our pleasure to grant the wishes of Alyssa, Jasmine and Paola."
The $22,500 “Watts for Wishes” check will fund wishes for three youth: Alyssa who is battling Lymphoid Leukemia, age 13, San Jose, and wished for a vacation to Oahu, Hawaii; Jasmine, who is battling Adenocarcinoma, age 16, Union City, who wanted to go on an African Safari; and Paola, who is fighting Salivary Gland Cancer, age 15, Daly City and wanted a Quinceañera.
“We are thrilled that AEDG and Santa Clara County have embraced our mission to grant wishes to brave local children battling through life-threatening illnesses,” said Patricia Wilson, Executive Director, Make-A-Wish® Greater Bay Area. “Your generosity allows them to create positive memories with their families that will last a lifetime. Thank you!”
“I am heartened to see the progress being made by the installation of these fuel cells because it puts us that much closer to reaching our goal of relying on 100 percent clean and renewable energy,” said Supervisor Ken Yeager, who is a strong advocate for sustainable measures.
The County of Santa Clara set goals for greenhouse gas emissions reductions that would reduce its greenhouse gas emission by 80% before 2050 to reduce its carbon footprint. The County has partnered with Alternative Energy Development Group and Bloom Energy to install a total of 2.6 megawatts of fuel cells at four County facilities. The fuel cells that will be installed at the County’s Government Center will operate on biogas making the electricity they generate 100% renewable.
The four County facilities include:
· 701 South Abel Street, Milpitas (Elmwood Correctional Facility) - 800 kilowatt system
· 840 Guadalupe Parkway, San Jose - 1000 kilowatt system
· 55 West Younger Avenue, San Jose - 400 kilowatt system
· 1555 Berger Drive, San Jose - 400 kilowatt system
“The installation of these Fuel Cell systems represent a hedge against the rising cost of grid electricity,” said County Executive Jeffrey V. Smith. “The new fuel cell system, in combination with the County’s 2012 installation of photovoltaic power generating systems at eight County facilities, will help reduce greenhouse gases generated by County operations.”
The new fuel cells at four County buildings are expected to produce 22.75 million kilowatt-hours of clean energy every year — or enough to power almost 2,158 homes. Not only will these projects reduce the county’s CO2 emissions by more than 100 million pounds, it will also provide an estimated $5 million in net electricity cost savings over 20 years.
Bloom Energy’s solid oxide fuel cell technology generates electricity through a highly efficient electrochemical process and provides clean, on-site energy. WGESystems designs-builds, owns and operates energy solutions that deliver financial, operational and carbon reduction results for non- residential customers across the United States.
“As a company with deep roots in Santa Clara County, we are particularly proud to celebrate this public-private partnership that will provide significant sustainability benefits while also being cost effective which showcases sustainable economic growth,” said Josh Richman, Vice President of Business Development, Bloom Energy.
“This public-private partnership with Santa Clara County will improve our environment by generating energy using Bloom Energy Servers and clean and efficient natural gas and biogas as the fuel source, assisting Santa Clara County to achieve its environmental goals by reducing its carbon foot print," said Manish Kumar, Manager of Strategy and Business Development, Washington Gas Energy Systems.
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About County of Santa Clara, California
The County of Santa Clara is a leader in promoting and implementing green energy and energy efficiency projects. The recent deployment of 5.8 megawatts of solar PV systems raises the County’s total solar PV generating capacity to 6.5 megawatts. The County currently has underway a $3 million LED lighting and lighting controls project, which is expected to reduce its electricity energy usage by approximately 2 million kilowatt hours. The County also recently solicited partnerships to develop large renewable energy generating facilities at various sites it owns and operate. These projects are a few of the County of Santa Clara’s initiatives to promote sustainability and preserve the environment.
About “Watts for Wishes”
SolarSense and Alternative Energy Development Group launched the “Watts for Wishes" charitable donation program in February 2011. The program connects the alternative and renewable energy industry with Make-A-Wish to provide funding for children with life-threatening illnesses to fulfill their wishes.
About Bloom Energy
Bloom Energy is a provider of breakthrough solid oxide fuel cell technology generating clean, highly-efficient on-site power from multiple fuel sources. The company was founded in 2001 with a mission to make clean, reliable energy affordable for everyone in the world. Bloom Energy Servers are currently producing power for several Fortune 500 companies including Google, Walmart, AT&T, eBay, Staples, The Coca-Cola Company, as well as notable non-profit organizations such as Caltech and Kaiser Permanente. The company is headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA. For more information, visit www.bloomenergy.com.
About WGL Holdings Inc.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., WGL [NYSE: WGL] is a leading source for clean and efficient energy solutions. Through our affiliates and strategic relationships, the Company offers a diverse set of energy sources including natural gas, wind, and solar as well as a range of energy solutions – generation, storage, transportation, distribution, supply, and efficiency – which serve customers in more than 25 states. WGL has five main operating units: Washington Gas Light Company, a regulated natural gas utility serving approximately 1.1 million customers in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area; Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc., one of the largest natural gas, electricity and green energy suppliers in the Mid-Atlantic; Washington Gas Energy Systems, Inc., a distributed generation and energy efficiency business, offering solar, fuel cell, combined heat and power, and other technologies across the United States; WGL Midstream, a wholesale energy solutions business, investing in and optimizing natural gas pipelines and storage facilities in the Midwest and Eastern United States; and Hampshire Gas, a natural gas storage business which owns and operates facilities in and around Hampshire County, West Virginia. As product and service innovation are critical for value creation and sustaining growth, we are continuously increasing our assets and investments in targeted clean energy sectors. This strategy supports WGL’s core business, as well as provides opportunity for growth through partnerships and investments. WGL’s diversity is its strength. We are dedicated to the sustainability of our business, the customers and communities we serve, and the environment. To learn more, visit www.wglholdings.com.
About Make-A-Wish® Greater Bay Area
Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. In 2014 Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area celebrates 30 years fulfilling magical wishes. During its first year of operation, in 1984, the chapter granted 27 wishes. Now one of the largest chapters nationwide, the Greater Bay Area grants over 300 wishes per year and has granted over 6,000 wishes to date. The chapter covers 17 Northern California counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Marin, Monterey, San Benito, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, Siskiyou, Solano and Sonoma. The goal of Make-A-Wish is to grant a wish to every eligible child in its territory. Anyone can suggest a child for a wish. For more information or to refer a child for a wish, please call 415/982-9474 or visit www.SF.Wish.org
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Media Contact: Gwendolyn Mitchell/Laurel Anderson, Office of Public Affairs, 408-299-5119; Chris Fraga, Alternative Energy Development Group & Watts for Wishes, (610) 909-8067; Alanna Gino, Bloom Energy, (408) 543-1742
Posted: April 22, 2014