Solar Power at the Water Pollution Control Plant
In 2005, the City installed the solar electric system at Chico's Water Pollution Control Plant. It is a ground mounted photovoltaic (PV) tracking system, which maximizes the sun's available energy by capturing up to 25% more daylight than fixed arrays, as the tracker follows the sun from early morning to late afternoon. The system uses high efficiency PV modules to generate maximum output per square foot. The modules are composed of solar cells made of solid-state semiconductors to convert sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity. The DC output from the PV modules is then converted to alternating current (AC) electricity by inverters for use by the city of Chico. [Read more]
Hwy 99 Corridor Bikeway Project
The City’s award-winning Hwy 99 Bikeway Project consists of a 7-mile long contiguous bike path generally paralleling State Route 99. The project is being developed in two phases. Phase I was completed in 2011, and Phase II should be finished within three years. The bikeway commences at Eaton Road and traverses south to Southgate Avenue across a combination of Class I and Class II/III facilities, as well as bike bridges over creeks.
Downtown Parking Structure Solar Array
After learning about a rebate available from Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E; San Francisco), the city installed a 91 kilowatt pilot solar project on a downtown parking structure in July 2004. The solar parking array is made of 480 PV panels, which deliver electricity directly into the City's electrical grid.
The City has also purchased 13 Hybrid vehicles since 2005. Generally, hybrid cars produce 80% less harmful pollutants and greenhouse gases than comparable gasoline cars. This translates to less airborne pollutants and a cleaner earth.