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Sony, SDG&E open new green building with solar power system

20 November 2009 No Comment

By Helen Kaiao Chang

See original story on SDNN

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Yet another San Diego building has turned green.

Sony Electronics and San Diego Gas and Electric opened a new “green” building Tuesday featuring solar panels that give renewable energy back to the electrical grid.

The new Sony headquarters, with 455,000 square feet located in Rancho Bernardo, includes a 160-kilowatt solar panel system installed on the employee parking structure. The panels owned by SDG&E can produce 230,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, which feed into the utility’s power grid.

“The building is anticipated to save nearly 1.5 million kilowatt hours of energy use every year, which is equal to removing 1,077 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere per year, or planting 27,622 trees,” said Alex Kim, SDG&E’s director of customer innovations, in an email response.

The rest of the building includes energy efficient air conditioning and heating, as well as recycled carpeting and water. The building design meets standards required for the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

The building is 15 percent more efficient than California building codes, while the parking structure is 75 percent more efficient,” said SDG&E’s Kim.

“This is an excellent example of a building that can gain immediate benefits from solar power,” said Gina Heng, general manager of Mitsubishi Electric’s photovoltaic division, which built the solar panels, in a press statement.

The solar panel system was implemented through an SDG&E Sustainable Communities program. SDG&E owns the solar panels, which were built by Mitsubishi Electric and installed by HelioPower.

SDG&E has a goal of deriving 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources by next year, as mandated by the California Public Utilities Commission.

Follow Helen on Twitter @helenchang.

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