Construction Begins on Solar Photovoltaic and Battery Energy Storage Systems Installation at the Granada Garage

By the City of Santa Barbara

On August 21, the City of Santa Barbara began construction on a 425 kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic system and battery energy storage system (BESS) at the Granada Garage. This project will generate, store, and supply electricity to the Granada Garage, Granada Offices, and the 911 Call Center while also reducing electricity costs at the Central Library across the street.

The project will produce approximately 700,000 kWh per year of clean renewable electricity, equivalent to powering over 150 Santa Barbara homes. In addition to increasing local renewable electricity capacity, project benefits include improved regional air quality and energy reliability, and supporting the local green energy industry.

This project is part of a broader City initiative to build microgrids, systems capable of both generating and storing electricity, at critical municipal facilities. Microgrids can operate while disconnected from the grid and continue to power these facilities, providing significant resilience potential during power outages and climate emergencies. The City’s first microgrid, at Fire Station 1 on West Carrillo Street, will go online within the next few months and will provide solar power as well as an undisrupted power supply to the Fire Station and Office of Emergency Services. The City is exploring the potential for additional microgrids at Cater Water Treatment Plant and the Franklin Neighborhood Center/Eastside Library complex.

The battery storage system at the Granada Garage project was funded in part through Southern California Edison’s Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP). The batteries will store power generated by the on-site solar array and power the facility at nighttime or at times when electricity from the grid is most expensive. 

“This project is a win-win-win on economics, resilience, and the environment,” said Alelia Parenteau, the City’s Sustainability & Resilience Director. “We are thrilled that it will make this critical facility more resilient while generating local, renewable electricity at a cost-effective rate. This project directly supports the City’s Strategic Energy Plan goal of 100% renewable electricity for the entire community by 2030.”

The project is scheduled to be fully online by summer of 2024. The Granada Garage will remain open throughout the duration of construction, with the roof closed for several months and intermittent closures in localized sections. Project developers are coordinating closely with Downtown Parking staff and the Granada Theatre to minimize disruption during periods of high demand for parking.

For additional information about the City’s Strategic Energy Plan please visit

For questions about the Granada Garage Battery Energy Storage Project, please contact Rachel Pelc at or (805) 991-2525.

What do you think?


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  1. What a waste of taxpayer funds! A future of more expensive and less reliable power is becoming a reality. It will be kind of like getting stranded when your electric car runs out of battery, except it will be the whole city. There really needs to be a way for non-liberals to opt out of this. I’d like to pay $.15 per kWh for my electricity and not have to endure power outages due to a lack of proper electrical infrastructure. I think that’s fair. The liberals can pay $0.50 per kWh and have lots of outages, just don’t force the the rest of us to live with that.

  2. Another boooooondogle for not-so-green eco-companies, green consultants, and kickbacks to our pols. “That’s a lie! That’s a complete fabrication! What a lying liar liying with lies and more lies.” Sorry, I’m telling the truth and I do not care if you believe it or not….sometimes ya just gotta accept the facts. Next, there will be $tudies to $tudy how green $tudies show that being green is greener than green, but we need to have more $tudies!!! Follow the money peeps….follow that “green.”

    • Not sure about the opinion part, but those who make their crust of bread off the government never have a problem with overspending, inappropriate spending, and “pork.” Afterall, this is a Santa Barbara project, so what you Goleta folks do is not any of my concern. I applaud any government-funded project that is of benefit to all of us who are paying taxes…not a fan of spending as a way to pay back or buy favors. Seems like some are okay with that…seems that way to me (my opinion).

    • I have three “mini” solar systems at my home and have plans to install a solar system at an income property that I am in the process of purchasing in West Virginia. I walk the walk my dear detractors. My issue is that money on this project would be better spent by giving local homeowners some sort of tax break or subsidy to install solar. We can get a $1,000 to donate an old car (must be registered and must be smogged) and we can get $500 toward putting in a “water-wise” garden….no reason the city/county/state should not pony up at LEAST that for a home solar system. Even a teenie system for charging phones, laptops, batteries and so on would only cost a few hundred dollars or less. One of my “budget” home solar systems has a 100 watt solar panel ($80), MPPT charge controller ($60), 500 W pure-sine inverter ($90), 12 V 12Ah deep-cycle battery ($25), and assorted cables/connectors ($20). I also have solar powered attic/gable fans ($200 each), solar window fans ($35), and mini water pumps for my water features. Basically, it doesn’t cost a whole lot to help save the planet. I understand that commercial systems are going to cost a lot more, but not what our government is paying for these systems to be installed.
      BTW: the system described above is not enough to run anything like a normal-sized refrigerator, washing machine, etc., but…..if the power goes out, you can run your cable modem, wireless router, and laptop….so it’s worth it right there. I also use my system to charge up my 20,000 mah power banks, 18 volt batteries for my cordless tools, rechargeable AAA/AA/C/D batteries, ….anything that charges via a USB cable. Easy….P.Z……

  3. I’m a big fan of this type of solar.
    Hope it pans out. What if every east, west, south facing window in the Northern Hemisphere was actually a see through solar panel?
    I am in favor of continued nuclear plant exploration just to feed the huge demand we are going to have for cheap energy to run cars, trucks, rail etc on all electric

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