SAN FRANCISCO – The Pacific Gas and Electric Company announced a donation of a $110,000 photovoltaic solar power system to Self-Help for the Elderly at the Lady Shaw Senior Center in Chinatown on Tuesday.
“This new solar power system will help us conserve valuable resources and empower us to be a part of the solution to the problem of greenhouse gases and global warming,” said Anni Chung, president and CEO of Self-Help for the Elderly.
The system is projected to reduce electricity costs at Lady Shaw by $4,478 over the first year.
“Part of our core values is to be frugal,” said Rose Pak of Chinese Hospital, which received a similar donation from the energy company two years ago. “PG&E’s involvement in Chinatown will help promote a more sustainable lifestyle.”
Many at the conference praised the energy company’s activities in Chinatown. “PG&E deserves credit for reaching out and working with the Chinese American community,” said BART Director and AsianWeek President James Fang. “Actions speak louder than words… PG&E is our friend and has worked with us many times.”
“We wanted to serve the community in a way that can [last] forever,” said PG&E Bay Area regional director of public affairs, Travis Kiyota. “We hope to demonstrate that state-of-the-art energy efficiency and renewable energy systems can be incorporated, even in historical buildings like those in Chinatown.”
The donation will include installation and maintenance in addition to the panels themselves, a gesture that Pak compared to giving away a Prius, providing insurance and teaching the recipient how to drive.
The donation is a part of PG&E’s $7.5 million effort to increase solar power in San Francisco. The panels are scheduled to be installed in early 2009 and are expected to provide 21,162 kilowatt hours of clean, renewable energy every year.