The Greenwharf Project is a collaboration between the City of Santa Cruz and the University of California, Santa Cruz. We have two aims: to educate the public about sustainable energy, and to develop renewable energy sources to power the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf.
The project took shape in 2008, when discussions between the City of Santa Cruz and the University led to the idea of making the wharf energy self-sufficient. As a first step, Prof. John Vesecky and the City’s Environmental Coordinator Ross Clark mentored a student project to design and build a pilot sensor and power generation platform. This platform collected wind, solar, and hydro information which assessed how much energy could be generated on the wharf. The student project was a success and won a Dean’s Award in the School of Engineering. To view the energy-generation potential, click here.
A follow-up project began in June 2010 under the sponsorship of the Center for Information Technology in the Service of Society (CITRIS) involving the Center for Sustainability and Power Systems (CenSEPS) in Engineering and the Environmental Studies Department. Prof. Vesecky, Dr. Kip Laws and Steven Petersen in Engineering, along with Prof. Brent Haddad and Tiffany Wise-West in Environmental Studies, moved the project forward toward a deployment on the roof of the Wharf Headquarters in cooperation with Wharf Manager Jon Bombachi. The Center for Sustainable Energy and Power Systems (CenSeps) at UC Santa Cruz, under Prof. Mike Isaacson, is playing a major role. The sensors, pioneered in the student project, yielded valuable test data, and on the basis of this information, the first wind turbine and solar panels were installed in Fall 2011. The energy produced by the wind turbine and solar panel charges an electric vehicle used in wharf maintenance.