WALNUT CREEK — Local leaders will combine their own wish list for solar panels and other renewable-energy projects on city-owned property with the dreams of other Bay Area agencies, to improve their buying power and better qualify for energy-related grants.
The City Council recently made formal Walnut Creek’s role in the Regional Renewable Energy Procurement Project, whose other member agencies are scattered throughout Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, and Santa Clara counties. Top priority for Walnut Creek is installing solar panels and shade structures on top of city parking structures, said City Engineer Steve Waymire. The city has also identified at least six other potential projects from its citywide 2010 solar feasibility study.
Next, Alameda County — which is leading the collaborative effort — will send a consultant to the 20 participating local agencies to review everyone’s proposals, with an eye toward “bundling” projects with similar contractor or technology requirements.
“We are hoping that by the first of January we can have a selection in place,” Waymire said.
The success of the Silicon Valley Collaborative Renewable Energy Procurement Project has served as the model for this “regional” collaboration.