In what may be the first of its kind and scope in Stanislaus County, the City of Patterson has entered into an agreement with Chevron Energy Solutions to improve the city's sustainability, which will include solar installations, energy efficiency programs and substantial energy cost reductions. This innovative collaboration will result in the city generating its own green, renewable electricity, dramatically reducing citywide energy costs, saving taxpayers an estimated $6 million over the life of the project, and making neighborhoods safer by replacing streetlights with more efficient LED fixtures.
Working with Chevron Energy Solutions, the city will install solar panels to generate clean, renewable power for the city's sewage treatment plants, corporation yard, and senior and aquatic centers. It is anticipated the solar installations will provide over 90 percent of the facilities' energy requirements. Changing streetlights to more efficient LED fixtures is also expected to save over $200,000 per year in electricity expense.
In addition, the city and Chevron Energy Solutions have engaged WattzOn, a community-based energy-efficiency non-profit, to help residents and business owners identify free and low-cost ways to reduce their energy use through free energy audits. The collaboration, to be called The Capacity Project, will also build workforce capacity in cleantech and energy by training and hiring Patterson high school students as energy auditors, being paid $14/hour. Energy savings from the program are expected to create more disposable income for households and businesses, stimulating the local economy.
The City of Patterson has become a model of innovative economic development in the San Joaquin Valley. In addition to these sustainability initiatives, the city has demonstrated success in attracting new businesses and jobs; one example: online retail global giant Amazon selected Patterson as the site for its first northern California distribution center, a state-of-the-art, one million square foot facility.
"This partnership will help us deliver on our sustainability goals and, at the same time, our economic development goals," said Mayor Luis Molina. "This project will help us both improve our environment and the attractiveness of our business climate. Both are critical goals for us."
The City of Patterson selected Chevron Energy Solutions, a leader in delivering renewable and energy efficiency projects for local governments and educational institutions, to develop, design and construct the project. "We are proud to partner with Patterson," said Chevron Energy Solutions President Jim Davis. "The city's leadership represents a positive example for cities across the San Joaquin Valley, the state and throughout the country."