San Leandro premieres new solar panel system

solar arraySan Leandro will reveal a brand new one-megawatt solar panel system at its Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP) at 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 5, a milestone in the Bay Area city’s quest to radically upgrade its energy infrastructure to cut costs, improve air quality, and adapt to California’s increasing strain for electricity.

“There are no ifs, ands, or buts about the need for California cities to figure out where and how we can cut back on grid dependency for energy,” Mayor Pauline Cutter commented. “The City of San Leandro has been on a mission to improve the way we operate for years, and what we’ve learned is that technologies of, and for, the future are required to accomplish it. This green energy project by Climatec meets future demands as it aligns with our sustainability efforts.”

The WPCP has been San Leandro’s largest consumer of energy among City facilities. The plant regulates, collects, treats, and disposes of wastewater, which are essential functions for protecting San Francisco Bay’s water quality and the broader ecosystem. It also supplements the local water supply with recycled water, cleaning about five million gallons of wastewater a day, with spikes of up to 14 million gallons.

The new solar panels make it possible for the plant to generate its own energy, reducing overall usage by at least 45 percent–that’s up to $247,500 in plant enterprise savings each year. Other new efficiency improvements include intelligent HVAC controls and LED lights that further optimize the WPCP’s energy use, as well as battery storage that turns the solar array and plant into a micro-grid capable of keeping critical services running during power outages.

The program has earned San Leandro accolades, including a $2 million grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC) in 2018. The same year, the U.S. Conference of Mayors named San Leandro a winner in its Mayors’ Climate Protection Awards for the initiative.

The WPCP improvements are a part of Smart City San Leandro, a citywide effort to implement technologies and infrastructure that is creating a brighter future. Because of these improvements, San Leandro met its Climate Action Plan goal of reducing 2005 emission levels by 25 percent before 2020.

May 3, 2022

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San Leandro Receives Climate Protection Award for Solar Power Resiliency Program

Climate protection awardOn December 18, 2020, the U.S. Conference of Mayors recognized San Leandro’s energy efficiency efforts by naming it a winner in the 14th Annual Mayors’ Climate Protection Awards.

The award-winning submission for the City of San Leandro highlighted energy infrastructure upgrades to the Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP), which included a one-megawatt photovoltaic solar array, new HVAC controls and LED lighting modernizations. San Leandro’s City Council also recently approved a battery storage addition that turns the solar array and plant into a micro-grid, protecting the WPCP’s critical services against power outages.

February 2, 2021

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San Leandro Receives Smart 50 Award

Smart 50 AwardThe City of San Leandro has been selected to receive a Smart 50 Energy Award from Smart Cities Connect for their Wireless IoT Connectivity Platform. The city will be honored at an awards gala taking place during the Smart Cities Connect Conference and Expo in Kansas City, Missouri on March 26, 2018.

The Smart 50 Awards, in partnership with Smart Cities Connect, Smart Cities Connect Foundation, and US Ignite, annually recognize global smart cities projects, honoring the most innovative and influential work. This year, primary categories included governance, mobility, energy, citizen life, and networks.

February 2, 2018

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Move Aside San Francisco: A New Tech Hub is Emerging

BASThe start of San Leandro, California’s, technology revolution can be pin-pointed almost to the day. 

In 2011, Dr. Patrick Kennedy, the founder and CEO of OSIsoft, the city’s largest tech company, which specializes in installing its trademarked “PI system” for private companies and public organizations, approached City Hall with an idea to install fiber optics in San Leandro’s existing underground conduit network.

Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter, then a council member, agreed with city staff that the project could be an innovative approach to economic development.

That same year, San Leandro signed a leasing agreement with Kennedy, who then formed Lit San Leandro, a private company responsible for leasing dark fiber to internet service providers. The public-private partnership ultimately enabled OSIsoft, the city and over 250 other San Leandro-based companies to have access to the 10-gigabit network.

“Transforming San Leandro into a center for innovation immediately became one of the city council’s paramount goals, following the launch of the Lit San Leandro fiber optic network,” Cutter says.

In 2012, San Leandro won a $2.12 million matching grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to expand the network from 10 to 18 miles.

Chief Innovation Officer Debbie Acosta, who was hired to help promote the new fiber network, says that since the city’s initial investment with Kennedy, many new technology companies have relocated to San Leandro to use the new network, bringing jobs, opportunity and a new edge to the northern California suburb that is home to approximately 90,000 residents.

But perhaps the greatest change, says San Leandro’s head of IT, Tony Batalla, is the culture shift that’s swept City Hall.

With more fiber comes more responsibility

Since it was launched, the fiber optic network has also allowed San Leandro to deploy free public Wi-Fi and connect all of its city facilities, including the “world-class” library, various community centers and City Hall.

However, Acosta says her favorite change is the way fiber optics have reinvigorated industrial parts of San Leandro, starting with the former Chrysler Dodge plant, a 720,000-square-foot, two-building complex built in the 1960s. The building had a strong retail presence on the ground floor, but the city couldn’t figure out what the focus should be for the second floor.

January 15, 2018

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CES 2018: Bosch Sees Future in Smart-City Business

Bosch logoUrban populations are growing: according to the United Nations, roughly two-thirds of the global population will live in conurbations by 2050. In 2014, this figure was just one-half. Urbanization is increasing, and with it the challenges cities have to solve. Even today, therefore, there is a considerable need for smart solutions. Speaking at CES in Las Vegas, the Bosch management board member Stefan Hartung said: “We need a new conception of the city. One key factor here is technologies that make cities smart and worth living in. In the long run, cities without intelligence will not survive, but succumb to gridlock.”

Bosch is working to equip cities and neighborhoods for the future, offering smart mobility, better air quality, more convenience, greater security, and many new services. In short, the aim is significantly better quality of life in cities and neighborhoods. “When it comes to smart cities, few other companies can match Bosch’s comprehensive portfolio, cross-domain knowledge, and outstanding expertise in sensors, software, and services – and all this from a single source,” Hartung said. From January 9 to 12, the supplier of technology and services will be presenting many new solutions that make cities smart at CES 2018, the world’s largest electronics show. These range from a new compact unit that measures and analyzes air quality in real time, to a system that digitally monitors river water levels and gives early warning of flood risks, to a completely automatic parking space service that makes drivers’ lives easier.

January 8, 2018

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Bosch is using cameras, streetlights, and sensors to make cities more livable

BoschLiving in a big city comes with a long list of advantages and an equally long catalog of disadvantages. Gridlock, pollution, and the never-ending search for a parking spot are all part of the second set. Bosch is using clouds, cameras, and sensors to whittle down the disadvantages without taking away the advantages — you’ll still be able to buy a burrito at two o’clock in the morning.

“We need a new conception of the city. One key factor here is technologies that make cities smart and worth living in. In the long run, cities without intelligence will not survive but succumb to gridlock,” predicted Bosch board member Stefan Hartung ahead of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

Bosch is ahead of the curve when it comes to making cities smarter, and it has a few tricks up its sleeve as it looks toward the future. It’s already working with 14 major cities including San Francisco, Berlin, and Tianjin, China, and it’s planning on expanding the list of partnerships in the coming years. Notably, it provided San Leandro, California, with nearly 5,000 LED street lights and developed a way to remotely manage them. They’re only turned on when needed, a solution which will help the city save about $8 million over the next 15 years.

January 8, 2018

The next hot spot for 3D printing is … San Leandro?

3D printingOne year ago, Type A Machines was developing, building and selling 3D printers out of a cramped office on the top floor of TechShop in downtown San Francisco.

Today, it operates out of an 18-acre industrial complex in San Leandro, Calif., across the Bay from San Francisco and just south of Oakland. It couldn’t bear to leave TechShop’s maker community behind (and it does still operate a wing of its business out of the space), so it decided to convince as many 3D printer companies as possible to join it at the space.

“If we can’t take it with us, then we’re going to have to create our own community,” CEO Espen Sivertsen said in an interview this week.

November 1, 2017

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California Energy Commission Awards San Leandro

SealThe California Energy Commission recently announced that the City of San Leandro will receive $1.99 million in grant funding through its Local Government – Energy Innovation Challenge (EIC) program, representing the largest grant awarded by the Commission.

This funding will enable the City of San Leandro to upgrade various projects at the Water Pollution Control Plant (WPCP), highlighted by a 1-megawatt solar power generation system. The grant will also help to fund high-efficiency LED lighting and a new automation system. These improvements will reduce electric power use at the WPCP by 53%, decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 2,789,951 pounds annually and generate $238,861 in annual energy savings.

The WPCP facility processes and treats wastewater for approximately 50,000 San Leandro residents using 125 miles of sanitary sewer pipelines and 13 pump stations, making it by far the largest single user of electricity under the City’s control. These upgrades would have been impossible for the City to accomplish without the grant funding from the Energy Commission, along with matching contributions provided by the WPCP’s enterprise fund.

July 24, 2017

How San Leandro is using IoT to transform itself

IoT articleSan Leandro, a suburban city in California, plans to integrate a 10-gigabit fiber loop into public infrastructure and services, in a move to evolve the city from its industrial roots.

The fiber loop is capable of connecting thousands of Internet of Things (IoT) devices together, sending all the data back to servers where it can be analyzed.

The city’s LED streetlights and controlled irrigation are already connected to the IoT system. The LED lights are expected to save $8 million in the next 15 years and will reduce San Leandro’s dependence on nonrenewable energy.

“Smart city and IoT technologies are important because they’re going to enable us to gather data about things we couldn’t know about in the past, which allows us to make better decisions,” said Debbie Acosta, the city’s chief information officer, to StateScoop.

May 20, 2017

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San Leandro Set to Invest $5.2 Million in Smart City Technologies

City Launches Implementation of Significant Municipal Energy and Water Efficiencies 

Smart City techThe City of San Leandro announced that it is about to implement a new program that will make great strides in reaching the City Council’s adopted Climate Action Plan goals by investing in infrastructure retrofits and smart city applications. Thanks to a $5.2 million contract with Climatec, a Department of Energy certified Energy Services Company, the City is on track to achieve guaranteed energy savings resulting from the installation of an array of new projects and improvements that will off-set the cost of implementing the program.

The project began in 2014, with a request for proposals from firms that could design and implement a comprehensive package of utility savings measures and infrastructure upgrades. As part of its request, the City included a critical financial requirement: to make the project feasible, the infrastructure improvements needed to pay for themselves over time without the need for any upfront capital expenditures from the City’s general fund.

“As we continue to live with limited natural resources, it’s important that the City lead by example in being more efficient with our municipal operations,” stated Public Works Director Debbie Pollart. “Budget savings that are achieved on our utility bills through this program will be reinvested to fund additional municipal efficiency projects.”

November 22, 2016

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San Leandro celebrates completion of Phase 1 of San Leandro Tech Campus

Phase 1On Tuesday, October 18, Westlake Urban and the San Leandro Tech Campus (SLTC) are hosting a grand opening celebration for the newly completed, first phase of SLTC and the inaugural lighting ceremony for Truth is Beauty, artist Marco Cochrane’s iconic, 55-foot tall, steel sculpture of a nude woman who is powerful, safe, and free. The event will take place from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. at SLTC, located at 1600 Alvarado Street, San Leandro, CA. The completion of construction of Phase 1 of SLTC and the lighting of Truth is Beauty are major milestones for San Leandro, a city moving from an industrial past to a technology-focused future.

Speakers include: Mayor Pauline Russo Cutter, City of San Leandro; Nancy O’Malley, District Attorney, Alameda County; Marco Cochrane, Artist and Creator, Truth is Beauty; Julia Whitelaw, Creative Partner, Truth is Beauty; Jenny Linton, President, OSIsoft; Rebecca Saltzman, Director, BART; Deborah Acosta, Chief Innovation Officer, City of San Leandro Gaye Quinn, Managing Director, Westlake Urban; Sunny Tong, Managing Director, Westlake Urban; Student Interns, San Leandro Education Foundation.

October 17, 2016

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Lit San Leandro: Connecting Community Through Fiber Optics

High Speed InternetLit San Leandro’s (“LitSL”) fiber optic infrastructure has quietly ignited multiple successful opportunities to attract investment to San Leandro. Real estate, businesses, schools, and other public facilities are connecting and bringing in millions of dollars in new investments. New applications for using the fiber are being introduced to the City, applications that hold the promise of improved services at lower costs. This includes the previously unimaginable opportunity to scale the adoption of solar throughout San Leandro, potentially enabling the City to meet — and beat — citywide greenhouse gas reduction goals identified in the City’s 2009 Climate Action Plan.

Change is not new to this City. Prior generations witnessed San Leandro’s transformation from an agrarian to an industrial economy through the arrival of railroads. The advent of cars gave rise to paved roads and freeways, enabling the separation of home and workplace and the creation of suburbs.

San Leandro is no longer a suburban city. It is an urban City whose leadership is taking advantage of the fiber optic opportunity that Dr. Patrick Kennedy, Founder and CEO of OSIsoft, brought to this City several years ago.

July 11, 2016

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Finding Google fiber in your own back yard

FiberA country ballad that ushered in the 80s decried looking for love in all the wrong places. As the buzz machine ramps up after back-to-back announcements from Google letting the world know it is bestowing its gigabit largess upon Austin, Texas and Provo, Utah, gigabit envy is running rampant across the U.S.

Google last week at the Broadband Communities Magazine’s Summit in Dallas told attendees “don’t wait for us” or even the Federal government to bring broadband to communities. “You have to take action, make changes, be creative,” said Milo Medin, Google Vice President for Access Services. “Your community can have a gigabit future if you want it badly enough”

So rather than Mountain View, Calif., maybe communities should be looking closer to home for broadband love from mini-Googles.

April 20, 2016

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