The city of Riverside Thursday celebrated a milestone in its solar energy production — reaching 5 megawatts a day, which translates to electricity for around 3,000 homes.
City officials said the achievement comes after three years of steady growth in the development of renewable energy sources locally, on which the Department of Public Utilities has placed an emphasis to make the inland municipality a green leader.
“A key component in our plan to create a clean and green city was to increase our use of renewable energy resources and to make those technologies available to our residents,” said Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge. “The continued growth in Riverside’s solar portfolio is proof that the path we have paved is leading us to become the model solar city that we envisioned.”
According to city officials, 450 residential, commercial and city-operated solar systems are producing wattage.
A 7.35-kilowatt system at California Citrus State Historic Park and a number of smaller residential projects that came online this week contributed to the city reaching the 5-megawatt mark.
“At the park, we are proud to share in Riverside’s past,” said park Superintendent Kelly Elliott. “However, we are just as proud to be a part of Riverside’s future by contributing to the community’s sustainable energy goals.”
Tax incentives and utility ratepayer rebates are available for those who undertake solar energy projects, such as installing photovoltaic cells on their property.
According to Riverside Public Utilities, 20 percent of its power generating capacity is derived from renewable sources, including solar, geothermal, wind and hydroelectric.