The City of Cerritos’ energy efficiency effort has been recognized as 2014 Outstanding Green City by the Filipino American Chamber of Commerce at its 6th Annual Green, Conserve and Health Exposition held for the second time at the Southern California Edison Education Center in Irwindale.
The city with a population of 49,041 joined three other awardees for the Emerald Awards of the annual event which recognizes individuals and groups for their effort in the green movement.
The other awardees recognized for their outstanding effort in promoting public awareness on the importance of green technology and coming out with innovative approaches to energy conservation were: Walmart as the Green Company Doing Business in Southern California; Simple Green product, Outstanding Energy Conservation; Sim’s Recycling Solution, Corporate Sustainability Leadership Award, and Eco Mattress Protection as Outstanding Green Product.
Southern California Edison’s Education Center-Irwindale has made its facilities available for the Chamber after four years in Orange County, This year’s choice of the Edison Education Center for the awards ceremony and trade show jibes with power company’s over-all community effort at creating awareness on the conservation movement.
The Filipino American Chamber of Commerce adopted the project six years ago upon the initiative of civic/religious leader Linda Sarno, also currently the Chamber’s director emeritus, to create awareness on the green conservation movement. The event has been drawing the support of green advocates and like-minded individuals concerned about health and environment in all the events. The Emerald Award has since become the highlight of the Chamber’s signature project which also aims to inspire others to join the concerted advocacy that has taken root many years ago.
Cerritos has been into the green movement since 1978, according to reports. The City which will celebrate its sixth decade of existence as one of California’s premier cities next year, became the nation’s “first solar-heated City Hall complex” which uses the solar energy system which supplies heat and hot water for the building. The project that had approximately 1,408 square feet of solar panels on the roof provides 57 percent of City Hall’s space heating needs and about 95 percent of its hot water needs.
Other energy conservation project followed soon for Cerritos and in 2001 the Cerritos Redevelopment Agency’s agreement with six other Southern California cities resulted in the construction of Magnolia Power Plant that provides “clean, reliable and lower-cost electricity for its traffics lights, park lighting, water wells and other facilities”.
The Magnolia power plant’s state-of-the-art technology for natural gas-fired power plants has generated electricity for the long term needs of Cerritos.
In 2010, a 748 -Unisolar thin film Photovoltaic solar modules, capable of generating 148,000 kilowatts annually was installed on the roof of one of the two 6-million gallon reservoirs at the Cerritos Corporate Yard. The solar panels’ electricity generation can provide the need for approximately 50 percent of the electricity needs of Cerritos Corporate Yard’s main building. The project was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
In 2011, the project was upgraded with the installation of additional set of high-capacity solar panels that increased power generation to 350,000 kilowatt hours annually for the two projects to serve the energy requirement of the building as well having the power to operate an adjacent water well.
The recent project also included the rehabilitation of the Corporate Yard facility’s original solar water-heating system where half of the project cost was funded by a grant from the Department of Energy.