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North Bay Business Journal

Monday, August 18, 2014, 5:00 am

Business News: Week of Aug. 18, 2014

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    Economic Development

    The Napa Chamber of Commerce board of directors and its Legislative Action Committee voted to support and endorse the Archer Hotel project located at the downtown Napa Town Center. This project is expected to serve as the cornerstone of the revitalized shopping center, envisioned in Napa’s Downtown Specific Plan. An environmental impact report evaluated the impacts of the plan, which the Napa City Council approved in 2012, and allowed for a hotel in the redevelopment.

    Energy

    Novato- and Sonoma-based SolarCraft designed and completed installation of a 518.5-kilowatt solar power system at the new county of Marin Emergency Operations Facility in San Rafael. The system has 1,700 ReneSola 305-watt solar panels mounted on 36,000 square feet of the roof.  The solar array fulfills the Countywide General Plan goal of 1 megawatt of photovoltaic panels on county facilities ahead of a 2015 self-imposed deadline. The system is expected to generate about 764,400 kilowatt-hours of energy annually, or enough to power 119 average homes. The array will remove demand for electricity production that releases nearly 220 tons of greenhouse gases annually, equivalent to 12.6 million vehicle miles over 30 years.

    Green

    GreenCitizen opened its newest “Eco-Center” in Marin County, located at 777 Grand Ave. in San Rafael. The center takes in old electronics from residents and businesses to recycle. The center is open Monday–Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. GreenCitizen said it decided to open the San Rafael center after seeing multiple Marin County residents recycle at Eco-Centers in Berkeley and downtown San Francisco. The company has helped more than 250,000 residents recycle electronics and performed 20,000-plus e-waste pickups from businesses since it opened nine years ago. Thirty percent of items recycled with GreenCitizen are fixed for reuse. What cannot be reused is “responsibly recycled” within 150 miles of San Francisco. Beyond e-waste recycling, the company offers business pick-ups, hard disk destruction and cell phone erasure. It is the only place in the Bay Area to offer Styrofoam recycling. GreenCitizen has 18 Eco-Centers and Eco-Drops throughout the Bay Area.

    Sonoma Clean Power debuted its ProFIT program, a program commonly known in the industry as a feed-in tariff. It sets a standard price for the agency to purchase electricity from larger wholesale renewable electricity projects. The program directly promotes the development of new renewable generation installations by paying a fixed price of $95 per megawatt-hour to Sonoma County projects. Contracts will run for 20 years for solar and wind and 10 years for baseload generating facilities. Projects can earn bonuses for up to $30 a megawatt-hour for the first five years or longer. The agency said the ProFIT program is a way to encourage installation of new, local, clean energy facilities by creating a new way for larger projects to get built where no motivation previously existed. Eligible projects must be a new resource; produce less than 1 megawatt; located in the agency’s service area; California Renewable Portfolio Standard–compliant; interconnected to the electricity grid; legally permitted by an appropriate jurisdiction; and willing to sign a standard, nonnegotiable, long-term contract. The program will remain open until fully subscribed.

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