Agenda 21 Alert! Mesa Red Mountain Park

Posted: June 19, 2011 in Agenda 21

Solar Day was first observed in San Francisco several years ago, and each year more and more communities have set aside June 18 to promote solar energy.

This week, Mesa and one of its largest solar-energy companies, SolFocus Inc., wrapped up construction of Mesa’s first major solar project.

The 70.4-kilowatt, dual-tracking concentrated photovoltaic system is expected to produce more than 168,000 kilowatt hours a year, supplying nearly 80 percent of the energy needs for the four softball fields.

SolFocus uses a reflective design involving mirrors and an optical system to concentrate sunlight onto solar cells. This technology, along with dual-axis tracking to follow the sun’s path, allows higher energy production than traditional systems.

“The Red Mountain Park solar installation serves as an important and useful symbol of Mesa’s commitment to sustainable and economically viable projects that benefit our community,” said District 5 Councilwoman Dina Higgins, whose district includes Red Mountain Park. “This is a great opportunity for our residents and visitors to play softball at a facility under lights powered by Mesa sunshine.”

The solar panels, which are at the Central Arizona Project Water Treatment Plant across the street from the park, are expected to save more than $40,000 annually.

The $350,500 cost of the project is funded by federal stimulus dollars from the Department of Energy under the Energy Efficiency Community Block Grant.

“Red Mountain Park just got a little greener thanks to the completion of this project,” Mesa Parks, Recreation and Commercial Facilities director Marc Heirshberg said. “The additional cost savings the city will achieve on our energy bill will also be a considerable benefit to the community.”

To learn more about Solar Day, city solar projects and solar tax rebates, go to or call 480-644-3306. For information on SolFocus, go to

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