More Solar Power Coming to City Hall

By Matt Baume
|  Saturday, Mar 26, 2011  |  Updated 7:15 AM PDT
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More Solar Power Coming to City Hall

Photo: Nicocricafila on Flickr

The statute on display in front of city hall. Photo: Nicocricafila on Flickr

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In fits and starts, solar power is gradually coming to City Hall.

And it's not a moment too soon: the seat of power uses an amount of electricity roughly equivalent to 200 homes.

Although various green retrofits have gone up over the last two years, solar panels have been slow going. That's due to union wrangling over what type of worker is allowed to install the panels.

The Newsom administration sided with skilled tradespeople, which meant a significant reduction in the workforce available to perform the labor. That brought construction plans to a complete halt for several months.

Earlier this month, the state ruled that Newsom was wrong, and that more workers should be eligible. But figuring out exactly what that means could take another two years, so the city has decided to forge ahead in the mean time.

That'll be no easy task. Without guidance from the state, the city will have to negotiate its own work rules with unions, according to the Bay Citizen. But ultimately, that should mean more work for people who desperately need jobs.

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