How Hetch Hetchy Power Helped the Salesforce Transit Center to #RebuildBetter

The Salesforce Transit Center in downtown San Francisco is more than a regional transit hub—it’s a destination. Overseen by the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, it features a beautiful 5.4-acre public park, service for numerous transit systems, trendy restaurants, shops and more. And it’s all powered by 100% greenhouse gas-free electricity supplied by Hetch Hetchy Power.

As San Francisco’s public power utility, Hetch Hetchy Power provides clean electricity to several entities in the City, including municipal facilities, streetlights, affordable housing projects and an increasing number of private developments in San Francisco, like the Salesforce Transit Center.

But Hetch Hetchy Power doesn’t just supply clean electricity. The public power utility also works with customers to reduce the amount of energy buildings consume through its various customer programs. And Salesforce Transit Center is no different.

Thanks in part to the support of Hetch Hetchy Power, the Salesforce Transit Center features numerous energy-efficient solutions like extensive use of daylight through its artful design.

Hetch Hetchy Power made a strong and early commitment to support the energy efficiency of the structure. Hetch Hetchy Power already has approved an initial incentive payment; and through planned site inspections and additional engineering analysis, the project could qualify for up to $2 million in total efficiency incentives.

Thanks in part to the support of Hetch Hetchy Power, the Salesforce Transit Center features numerous sustainable innovations, some of which are even below the structure itself. The building is located on ten miles of geothermal piping, which helps to both cool and heat the building efficiently. It also features extensive use of daylight through its artful design, a rain-capture graywater system, and innovative elevator and escalator improvements, among many others. 

Hetch Hetchy Power’s support will help Salesforce Transit Center save a lot of energy. Based on a review by external consultants, the transit hub is designed to use 44% less energy than typical building standards dictate. Initial estimated savings were calculated to be approximately 5 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) for the first year, which is the same amount of energy as an 18-acre solar farm. (Imagine the rooftop park covered in solar arrays three times). 

Utility Specialist Terry O’Sullivan (above) worked with Customer Programs and Redevelopment Manager Sam Larano on the incentive program for the Salesforce Transit Center.

As this project demonstrates, energy efficiency is key to sustainable design and reduced energy consumption in buildings, which is critical in terms of reducing climate change risks. In a first-of-its-kind Energy Efficiency Impact Report, a joint effort of the Alliance to Save Energy, the American Council on an Energy Efficiency Economy and the Business Council for Sustainable Energy, found that since 1980, without energy efficiency investments, energy consumption and related emissions would be 60 percent higher than they are now. A focus on energy efficiency, like the collaboration between Hetch Hetchy Power and the Salesforce Transit Center, is ultimately a key component in addressing the climate crisis. Hetch Hetchy Power is committed to energy efficiency and working to ensure more developments in San Francisco can indeed #RebuildBetter.