Mike Pallamary, candidate for the 6th District City Council seat, told small business owners in Clairemont last night that use of microturbine power systems could reduce their reliance on SDG&E and skyrocketing utility bills.
"The only way to take the shock out of San Diego's utility bills is by creating alternatives to SDG&E as a source of electricity," said Pallamary. "In my opinion, the most exciting solution lies in the acquisition and use of microturbine power systems that are in essence mini power plants. The 30-kilowatt machine is about the size of a refrigerator and can generate enough electricity to power a small business. It costs about $35,000.
Pallamary made his announcement during a small business owner fundraiser held at Dino's Gyros, a Greek restaurant in the Clairemont Town Square shopping Center. Owner Dino Zane has seen his business electricity bills skyrocket from $3,000 to $9,000 a month. He fears losing his business altogether if the current energy situation continues.
"Small business owners like Dino make up the bulk of employment here in San Diego County," noted Pallamary. "When you combine the high cost of power with business shutdowns caused by brown outs, the economic damage is multiplied. Microturbine systems offer real hope to the thousands of small business owners struggling to make ends meet.
"Just this past week, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, and the City of Los Angeles Board of Water & Power Commissioners unanimously approved a $4 million purchase of 141 microturbine power systems from Capstone Turbine Corporation."
The microturbine units create 30 kilowatts of power from a variety of fuels, including natural gas, propane, diesel, kerosene and methane-based gases from sources such as landfills, oil fields and wastewater treatment plants. These small power plants can be installed onsite at businesses and public facilities to reduce demand on the electric power grid.
"In addition to direct power, the system also operates as a cogeneration plant, which reduces power draw on the grid. Small businesses like those here in Clairemont Town Square could generate their own electricity at night and create `micro-grids' to run their businesses," added Pallamary.
Pallamary concluded his remarks by stating, "The City Council needs a member like me with my engineering background and experience to effectively address such serious problems as the energy crises, pollution in Mission Bay, and our ailing infrastructure. It's one thing to talk about problems; it's another to come up with real solutions. I will apply the same vigor and dedication to these issues as I have demonstrated for the past 20 years in this community."
Pallamary is licensed as a Professional Land Surveyor by the State of California. He ran his own land surveying business for 18 years before joining the firm of P & D Consultants in the fall of 1999. He is the author of two books on land surveying, The History of San Diego Land Surveying Experience and Advanced Land Descriptions, a university textbook.
He has served as Chair of the Clairemont Mesa Planning Committee, a member of the Mission Bay Capital Oversight Committee, and a member of the Mission Bay Sludge Mitigation Committee.
Currently, Pallamary is an appointed member of the City of San Diego's Board of Zoning Appeals and the Mission Bay Park Planners. He is also an elected member of the North Bay Project Area Committee.
In 1999, the San Diego Park and Recreation Department honored Pallamary as "Volunteer of the Year." He is also a recipient of the Burn Institute's "Spirit of Courage Award" for entering a burning building and rescuing a family.
Mike and his wife of 28 years, Maureen, moved to San Diego from Boston, Massachusetts in 1976. They have lived in their Clairemont home since 1981 where they raised two sons, Justin and Michael.