Solar Power 2004 presented by Solar Electric Power Association is being held at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco, One Market Expo Hall and the Pacific Gas and Electric Auditorium. There is even a dinner event to be held on Oct 20 at the Moscone Center. Oct 18-22, 2004.

Initially the whole event was to be held at the Hyatt Regency but the planners had to deal with a hotel strike and many of the participants chose not to cross the picket lines. In fact Mayor Gavin Newsom mandated that no one in his administration cross the picket line.

The exhibits were divided between the One Market Expo Hall and the Ball Room in the Hyatt Regency. The bigger conferences were held at the PG&E Auditorium at 77 Beale.

Mayor Gavin Newsom spoke well when he told the audience on the open day of Solar Power 2004 that the City and County of San Francisco is committed to Solar Power and that he has unveiled a Solar Plan for the City of San Francisco. This is a step in the right direction.

A 675 KW solar power system has already been installed on the Moscone Convention Center for which the City of San Francisco received the Green Power Leadership Award from the Department of Energy. Ed Smeloff played a leading role with this solar project.

The City plans to install a 225 Kw solar system at the Phelps Raw Sewage Treatment Plant. And if all goes well a 300 kW solar system at Pier 96 Norcal's Recycling Plant. City schools, libraries, and health centers could see a 2.5Kw solar power system installed in the near future.

The State of California under Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is aiming at 2.7 GW. If this happens California will prevent over 50 million tons of Carbon Dioxide polluting our environment. Germany leads the world with state of the art solar systems and a Government Blue Print that encourage Solar. Next comes Japan and at the rate Solar Systems are installed it should rank number one in the world. The United States ranks third and most of the solar installations within the State of California.

Way back in 1954 California first hit upon the discovery of solar panels and its invention of clear energy. Since 1954 Germany and Japan have taken the lead and we in the U.S. are just starting to realize that fossil fuel is not the way to go. Right now a barrel of oil is priced at over $55 and before we know it - we may have to pay $60.

In the Bayview Hunters Point we have seen over the years the toll in lives the pollution has taken as a result of the two old toxic spewing power plants - Hunters Point and Mirant. In the very near future we hope to see a 230 KV Transmission Line in place and a loop Transmission Line between Mirant and Hunters Point underground to close the two power plants. Our infants should not die because of pollution and toxins in the air.

In the interim we can install solar system and have a $100 million bond measure which the constituents of San Francisco passed and which Mayor Gavin Newsom wants spent on viable solar projects all over the City and County of San Francisco. SFPUC is the lead agency for the Solar Bonds.

Fred Schwartz and Edward Smeloff have done a good job under difficult circumstances working for San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC). The two of them have directed all the major solar projects. Now we hear that Susan Leal has ordered Ed Smeloff to resign. This is a wrong move that will come to haunt the City of San Francisco and the SFPUC in the long run.

San Francisco is on the right track and for some of you who have the time please go to One Market and check out the exhibits for free. This City has the ability to make good stuff happen.

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