Tag Archives: Solar Growth

Required Reading on San Diego’s Solar Surge

By Lisa Halverstadt, Voice of San Diego

San Diego is considered a national solar hotspot. This spring, the nonprofit Environment California Research & Policy Center dubbed San Diego the No. 2 solar city in the U.S. in a national survey. That same report noted San Diego’s solar growth outpaced Los Angeles, the nation’s top solar mecca.

Yet the region and the rest of the nation are approaching a crossroads. Some solar policies and incentives are nearing near expiration, and utilities such San Diego Gas & Electric are looking to up charges for solar customers as the technology becomes more widespread.

San Diego’s Solar Status

  • Power grid: SDG&E believes that solar could create challenges for San Diego’s grid when it reaches 15 percent penetration and are working on potential solutions. As of last month, about 4 percent of SDG&E customers were solar customers.
  • Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS): SDG&E forecasts that it will meet the state’s RPS mandate of 33 percent renewable electricity well ahead of the 2020 deadline and derived 30 percent of annual retail sales from renewables in 2014. The utility says the amount of renewable energy in its resource portfolio has since risen to 32 percent, and it could meet the 33% RPS target sometime this year (figures do not include rooftop solar).
  • Rate restructuring: SDG&E wants to change its current rate structure and its proposed tweaks have frustrated some big solar customers. Five San Diego County school districts filed protests to SDG&E’s suggested peak pricing period, which the utility wants to shift from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. to 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. They argue the change would mean their solar investments don’t pencil out as planned, leaving less money to spend on students.
  • Local investment in solar: Local governments are ramping up their solar commitments as well. In March, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved updates to the county’s building code that require new homes in unincorporated areas of the county to be built solar panel-ready. The city of San Diego is also working on a Climate Action Plan that encourages more solar investment, namely with its goal of achieving 100 percent renewable energy by 2035.

Read full article from Voice of San Diego