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City goes green with new water district building

ENCINITAS — Government agencies are taking environmental sustainability seriously. In an effort to conserve energy and increase savings, the new Leucadia Wastewater District headquarters is going solar.
Solana Beach-based Sequoia Solar was awarded the solar photovoltaic contract for the Leucadia Wastewater District. The new building is designed with sustainability in mind and will incorporate a public kiosk to display the production of the solar arrays in real time, cumulative totals, positive environmental impact and carbon dioxide reduction. “The education component is important because people will actually be able to see the savings when the solar panels are producing more energy than the offices are using,” Jody Schmauss, Sequoia marketing director, said.
Sequoia Solar is a solar photovoltaic design and installation company with offices in Solana Beach, Palm Desert and Santa Rosa, Calif. With a team of both NABCEP certified and LEED Accredited Professionals, the company that opened in 2008 walks the talk, from its solar-powered headquarters and education center in Solana Beach, to hybrid sales vehicles and biodiesel powered installation trucks. The company even uses system installations that are powered by a mobile solar power station.
The particular solar system that will be installed at the district saves not only energy but money as well. “There is a $14,500 savings per year in electricity costs,” Schmauss said. “That’s a lot of money and it doesn’t even take into consideration the positive environmental impacts.”
In fact, the environmental offset is equivalent to 2,576 tons of carbon dioxide over 25 years, 44.1 acres of trees planted or 8,383,922 miles not driven.
“We are pleased and excited to have been selected to design and install the solar PV system for the district,” said the company’s CEO Marty Reed. “We also commend them for their concern for the environment, for promoting the improved health and safety of our community, and for reducing their operating costs by including solar energy into the design of their new facility.”
The district collects, treats and disposes of approximately 4 million gallons of wastewater daily. The district covers a 16-square-mile service area that provides services to more than 60,000 residents in Leucadia, La Costa and portions of northern Encinitas.
The project will begin in November and should be complete within a month.
“This is a first of its kind around here,” Schmauss said. “What’s exciting about it is that once government entities see the benefits of solar we hope to have others inquiring how they can participate as well.”