Posts filed under ‘Latest Utilities News’

RIVERSIDE’S NEWEST POWER PLANTS READY TO SERVE CITY

5/18/2011
Riverside, Calif. – Riverside Public Utilities’ (RPU) newest local power generation units have achieved their commercial operation status and are now ready to serve the city of Riverside’s electrical needs during times of peak use and in emergency situations.The generation units are located at RPU’s Riverside Energy Resource Center (RERC), a 16-acre site adjacent to the city’s water quality control plant on Acorn Street. RERC’s first two generators, units 1 & 2, were completed in June 2006.

With the completion of units 3 & 4, RERC now features four state-of-the-art 48 megawatt (MW) simple-cycle combustion turbines and generators that can produce a total of 192 MW (one megawatt is enough power for approximately 750 southern California homes).

“These plants could not have been made possible without the commitments of Riverside’s leaders who recognized years ago the tremendous importance of creating local power plants to help serve our city’s needs,” said RPU General Manager David H. Wright. “These plants help us to keep energy rates low for our customers, increase our reliability, and offer valuable resources to Riverside in the event of an emergency or natural disaster.”

Since RPU is limited in the amount of energy it can bring in to the city, having internal generation units like those at RERC are essential in meeting customer needs during peak summer months. RPU also operates a 40 MW power plant at its Springs Substation, and 30 MW combined cycled power generation plant at the Clearwater Water Treatment Plant located in Corona which help increase the city’s capacity to meet these peak energy demands. Additionally, local power plants are essential in times of emergency, should Riverside’s outside power connections be disrupted.

RPU will host a dedication ceremony for the two new RERC power plants on May 25.

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May 24, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Riverside’s Green Initiatives, Sustainability Plans Receive Honors in International Communitas Awards

DALLAS, TX – The City of Riverside’s environmental initiatives and sustainability plans were recognized for their outstanding achievements by the Association of Marketing and Communications Professionals (ACMP) in their international Communitas Awards competition last week.

The City of Riverside was one of only 30 to receive 2011 Communitas Awards, which recognize exceptional businesses, organizations, and individuals from around the globe for their specific programs involving volunteerism, philanthropy, or ethical, sustainable business practices.

Riverside received two Gold Communitas Awards for its “Sustainability Programs” and “Green Initiatives” entries, which highlighted the city’s ongoing efforts in creating and implementing environmental policies and programs such as their Green Action Plan – which outlines Riverside’s strategies for increased use of renewable energy resources, preservation of water resources, reduction of greenhouse gases, waste management, recycling, and transportation, that help to maintain and cultivate a more sustainable community.

Riverside was also one of a handful of participants chosen by the ACMP this year to receive the Platinum Leadership in Community Service and Corporate Social Responsibility Award for its “Green Riverside/Seizing our Destiny” entry. The Leadership award is given only to organizations which show excellence in multiple programs.

“These awards highlight the many efforts Riverside is committed to and have been promoting for the last ten years,” said Riverside City Councilmember Rusty Bailey, who also chairs the city’s Land Use/ Utility Services / Energy Development Committee. “We are very pleased to be honored for our accomplishments.”

“While creating award winning policies and programs helps to keep Riverside among the leading green cities in the nation and around the world, we are also proud to be able to share our blueprints of success with other communities, and foster the ‘people helping people’ spirit that the Communitas Awards represent,” Bailey said.

May 3, 2011 at 4:10 pm

Riverside Solar Projects Now Generating Over 3 Megawatts

Riverside, Calif. – With the addition of two city-funded solar projects coming online last month, the City of Riverside has achieved yet another major milestone toward increasing its renewable energy portfolio by surpassing the 3 megawatt (MW) mark of clean, renewable energy that is produced by solar generation projects throughout the city.

Just six months ago the city surpassed the 2 MW mark as commercial and residential solar projects continued to be constructed citywide, spurred on by more affordable and efficient solar technology, available tax incentives, and utility rebates.  One megawatt is enough energy to serve about 750 Southern California homes.

“Ever since our first solar carport went online in November 2001, our goal has been to educate customers on the benefits that a solar energy system can provide to them, their city, and the environment,” said Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) General Manager David H. Wright.  “With 249 additional projects coming online within the past ten years, we can see that our customers understand those benefits.”

A 20.70 kilowatt (kW) system at the city’s wastewater treatment facility on Acorn Street, and a 19.20 kW system at the new Marcy Branch Library helped push Riverside’s solar totals over 3 MW in April. City and utilities-funded projects at parks, senior centers, parking lots, and even atop city hall now provide more than 780 kW that help offset energy usage at their locations.

“It’s exciting to see the continued exponential growth of our city’s solar energy portfolio,” said Riverside’s Mayor Ronald Loveridge.  “Each new system, along with each new milestone, moves Riverside closer toward the goals we established in our Green Action Plan and makes Riverside a model solar city.”

With a 100 kW system expected to come online this week at local manufacturer GAR Laboratories, located in the Hunter Business Park, Riverside is already rapidly moving toward its next solar milestone of reaching 4 MW. For additional information about solar energy projects in Riverside and to view Riverside’s Solar City Map, visit: GreenRiverside.com

May 3, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Arbor Day Foundation Names RPU Tree Line USA Utility Provider

Riverside, Calif. – Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) was named a Tree Line USA Utility Provider by the Arbor Day Foundation this month for its continued dedication to promoting proper tree planting and protecting trees in its service territory.

Through its Tree Line USA program, the Arbor Day Foundation, in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters, recognizes public and private utility providers that demonstrate best practices which protect and enhance America’s urban forests.  The goal of Tree Line USA is to promote safe, reliable electric service and abundant, healthy trees in the community.

“Trees are an important part of urban landscapes all across the United States,” said John Rosenow, chief executive and founder of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Utility providers like Riverside Public Utilities are setting a good example about the importance of taking care of a valuable community resource.”

For over a decade, RPU has encouraged customers to plant shade trees around their homes and businesses to reduce cooling costs and energy consumption, help the environment, and beautify the community. By providing rebates, and even free shade tree coupons during the month of March, more than 87,000 trees have been planted in Riverside by utility customers.

In addition to promoting planting the right tree in the right place, the utility’s year-round power line tree trimming program helps to reduce tree-related power outages and improves public safety.

March 9, 2011 at 6:59 pm

International competition names Riverside as finalist

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Riverside’s green sustainability plans are now on a global stage. The International Awards for Liveable Communities (LivCom) has selected the city of Riverside as a finalist in the 2009 LivCom Environmentally Sustainable Project Awards. The winners will be announced at the five-day LivCom conference at Pilsen in the Czech Republic. The conference begins Thursday. The nomination was for Riverside’s program: “Green Action Plan – A Sustainable Community.” Pittsburgh is the only other American city to be a finalist. “The city is becoming internationally recognized for our Green Action Plan,” said Mayor Ron Loveridge. “It shows we’re on the right track as a model of sustainability. And, after the conference, I believe our plan and our best practices will be used by other cities.” In August, judges looked at applications from across the globe and selected Riverside as a finalist. Others nominees include: Broadland, England; Chrudim, Czech Republic; Gold Coast City, Australia; Lviv, Ukraine; Odense, Denmark; Pittsburgh; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Schwalm-Eder-Kreis, Germany; Tatra District, Poland; Tulln an der Donau, Austria; and Yokohama, Japan. At the finals delegates will meet to exchange knowledge and best practice ideas during two days of presentations by colleagues from towns and cities from around the globe. LivCom is a United Nations-sponsored group which rewards environmental achievement. The awards were launched in 1997 and are the world’s only awards competition focusing on best practices for the management of the local environment. The objective of LivCom is to improve the quality of life through the creation of “liveable communities” and to encourage developers to have the same environmental objectives as the communities. For more information on the LivCom awards, visit http://www.livcomawards.com

October 6, 2009 at 11:41 pm

RPU Rolls Out Green Carpet for Public Power Week

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Riverside residents may never celebrate Public Power Week as zealously as…well, Groundhog Day.

But to customer-owned Riverside Public Utilities, the Oct. 6-10 occasion is an ideal chance to let residents know about their own utility company.

“No one marks it on their calendar, but those in the power business know when it’s coming,” said Christine Spahr, customer service manager.  “It’s also an ideal way to celebrate National Customer Service Week, the same week.  Our customers are the owners of the utility, so excellence in customer service is extremely important at RPU.”

Riverside is one of 2,000 local public utilities across the nation that annually celebrates Public Power Week, according to the American Public Power Association.  There are approximately 107,000 metered power customers in the City of Riverside.

Customers who go during the week of Oct. 5 – 9 to Utilities Plaza, 3460 Orange Street, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., or to the Customer Resource Center, 3025 Madison Street, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., will receive a green shopping bag and a RPU Owner’s Manual.  The manual is a recent RPU publication that outlines the most-requested information about the utility – from how to read the meter to rebate programs.

“The owner’s manual is an easy-to-read reference for the owners of RPU — our customers,” said Dave Wright, general manager of RPU.  “It’s a lot of fun to read and answers frequently asked questions from customers including: information about water and electric rates, better service reliability and conservation rebate programs designed to save them water, energy and money.

“Everywhere I go I see our green shopping bag,” he continued.  “It’s durable, easy to store, holds a lot and it’s free.  Best of all, it conserves our natural resources unlike plastic or paper bags.  Why would you not have one?”

According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually.   An estimated 12 million barrels of oil is required to make that many bags.  The petroleum in 14 plastic bags is enough to power a car for a mile.

October 3, 2009 at 12:19 am

Going Green – It’s Not Just for Young People.

That was the message at a recent event in Riverside’s White Park, where dozens of senior citizens took a stand for the environment and against global warming.
Seniors Go Green Event - 2
The event, entitled “Mount Rubidoux Manor – Seniors Giving the Gift of Green,” was hosted by residents of Mount Rubidoux Manor with help from Riverside Public Utilities. The event on Saturday, Sept. 26, featured exhibits, seminars, informational booths, food and entertainment.

Organizers emphasized that, while the green movement holds great promise among young people, older Americans bring a historical perspective to how our world has changed during the past 50 years. And they are naturally concerned about what sort of world they are leaving for their descendants.

“Seniors have a tender heart for their grandchildren and their great-grandchildren who are going to inherit the world we leave behind,” said Wally Longshore, the Mount Rubidoux Manor resident who led the organizational effort.

“The idea that their progeny are going to be in an ecological crisis in 20 to 30 years is very upsetting to them, especially if you think you could have done something about it.”

Longshore and other Mount Rubidoux Manor residents decided last year to start doing something about the problem of global warming. They began holding organizational meetings and spreading the word about sustainability through the senior housing area in downtown Riverside. And they started planning their inaugural event.

All that work paid off Saturday. Dozens of senior citizens walked through the park clad in green T-shirts, listening to speakers on environmental topics, browsing at the informational booths and exchanging ideas for improving the local environment.

Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge said he was encouraged by the number of people who turned out for the event despite the triple-digit heat.

“People initially misread the green movement, which really does include seniors,” Mayor Loveridge said. “It’s a question of being a steward of the world.”

City Councilman Mike Gardner agreed.Seniors Go Green

“To me, the most encouraging thing is the level of involvement,” Gardner said. “So many of the residents have really thrown themselves into it. They really enjoy the challenge of organizing.”

Representatives from Riverside Public Utilities worked with organizers to produce the event. They also taped their popular radio program, “The Green Power Report,” live from the event.

September 29, 2009 at 4:41 pm Leave a comment

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