SAN DIEGO, CA – April 23, 2007 — The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) today unveiled the installation of more than 10,000 square feet of solar panels on the roof of the Science Center. The project will generate clean electricity for San Diego and serve as the centerpiece of an upcoming interactive exhibition on alternative energy.
The result of a partnership between the Fleet Science Center, SDG&E and the City of San Diego, the new solar photovoltaic (PV) system will produce more than 100 kilowatts (kW) of clean energy at peak production – enough electricity to light 1,700 60-watt bulbs or power about 65 homes. SDG&E will own and operate the solar panels, so the electricity generated will feed the region’s power grid, not just the Fleet.
This contribution of clean solar energy will eliminate about 60 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year. Scientists are now convinced that carbon dioxide is one of the primary agents contributing to global warming.
In addition to generating clean electricity, the solar panel system will be the centerpiece of a new hands-on science exhibition at the Fleet called “So WATT! An Illuminating Look at Energy” scheduled to open this August. Designed and built by BANG! Creative, Inc. and Reuben H. Fleet Science Center staff, and made possible by grants from SDG&E, Shell Trading and the Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation, the exhibition will take visitors on a guided tour of solar power and other “green” sources of electricity. The exhibition also will introduce visitors to the basics of electricity and offer tips on how people can conserve energy at home and at work.
The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center has already made major progress in reducing its impact on the environment, including projects that have dramatically reduced energy and water consumption. In fact, the Fleet uses less electricity today than it did before its 1998 expansion, which doubled the size of the facility. Moreover, the Fleet is currently in the process of obtaining LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
More details about the upcoming “So WATT! An Illuminating Look at Energy” exhibition will be available this spring. Preliminary design schematics and renderings of the exhibition are available from the Fleet Science Center upon request.