Taking advantage of the longest day of the year, Costa Mesa on Monday celebrated the installation of solar panels on the roof of the Neighborhood Community Center.
Costa Mesa entered into a power purchase agreement with Foster City, Calif.-based SolarCity, which provided the equipment and installed the panels at no cost. In exchange, Costa Mesa will pay SolarCity for the power the solar panels generate.
The solar panels can generate enough power to provide energy for 30 households, said Khanh Nguyen, a Costa Mesa building official.
"Whatever generates from the solar panels we don't have to pay Edison, we pay SolarCity, so we save energy," Nguyen said.
"This is a great financing tool for the city to use because they don't have to put money upfront, and they get the benefits right away," said Jim Cahill, SolarCity regional director for Southern California. "Five years ago, people were worried about whether the panels are reliable, whether they will produce the energy they want, and now the only question seems to be, 'How they are going to finance it?'"