Earl Warren Showgrounds will be getting a solar power makeover this February.
The state-owned facility is set to install 8,000 photovoltaic panels, which will generate enough electricity to power the entire venue. The 3-by-2 foot panels will be placed on top of the venue’s 16 barns and will have the electric capacity to power up to 125 homes.
The project will cost approximately $1.8 million. The state is funding half this cost, while the other half is being paid by the fairground through a low-interest loan. All extra electricity generated will be sold to Southern California Edison to cover the cost of this loan.
Scott Grieve, representative for Earl Warren Showgrounds, said the panels will wipe out the venue’s annual electricity bill of approximately $120,000.
“The cost of the panels will be essentially paid for by the electricity we sell back to Edison,” Grieve said. “We think there will be more than enough energy.”
Grieve said the panels will still generate electricity on cloudy days, and the venue can purchase power from Edison during nighttime events.
The panels are scheduled to be installed the second week of February.
Other fairgrounds across Southern California are also in the process of switching to solar energy.