San Diego is considered to be one of the best regions in the country to pursue solar. Installations are on the rise, thanks to incentives provided by utility companies and great financing options from installers. With the abundance of sunlight, consumers and businesses alike are optimistic about solar energy as an alternative energy form.
San Diego Solar Rebates and Incentives
There are few places in the country that can compete with San Diego for solar radiation levels. San Diego has already been named the best solar city in California, leading the state (as of July 2009) with about 19.5 megawatts of installed solar capacity distributed across more than 2,260 rooftops.
Whether you’re a customer of Socal Edison or SDG&E, you might qualify for utility rebates that reduce up-front solar costs for most residential projects by at least 20 percent. Additionally, all projects are eligible for the 30 percent federal investment tax credit, so the net cost may be at least 50 percent below gross. These huge savings makes solar that much more appealing to San Diegans.
Recent Solar Power Purchase Agreements in San Diego
Solar can be a smart investment can be advantageous to organizations of all sizes. By entering into power purchase agreements with solar developers, businesses can reduce their energy bills, while reducing their carbon emissions at the same time. Solar PPAs (Power Purchase Agreements) are agreements between a provider and a customer to purchase on-going solar power at long-term rates. Solar PPA providers install and maintain solar facilities on customer rooftops or properties. The advantage to this agreement is that the consumers do not have to invest in the large amount of capital to purchase the system upfront
AMSOLAR, a member of the Green Chamber of San Diego County, has just signed with the San Diego Unified School District. The new project will bring solar panels to around 20 different schools in the San Diego area, providing a total of 5.2 megawatts of clean energy. The agreement between SDUSD and AMSOLAR is for 22 years and is intended to save the district $13 million and provide about 11% of their power needs. With the addition of the AMSOLAR arrays, San Diego will have the most solar power capacity of any school district in the United States. For more information go to the AMSOLAR website.
Another member of the Green Chamber who involved in solar projects is the University of San Diego. More than 5,000 photovoltaic panels will be placed throughout the campus, generating up to 15% of USD’s power needs through a 1.23-megawatt renewable energy system. Installation of USD’s solar power project in partnership with AMSOLAR is scheduled to be completed this summer, which will make the university the eighth-largest solar energy facility on a U.S. college campus, and the largest at a private university.
UC San Diego is also striving to be one of the nation’s “greenest” universities and the campus is well on its way toward that goal with the recent installation of a solar photovoltaic system, which is just one facet of their sustainable energy generation programs on a university campus.
In August, AT&T announced that it was partnering with solar developer SunEdison to install 2 megawatts of solar capacity across California. In total, SunEdison will build and operate six solar arrays on behalf of AT&T. The telecom company is turning to solar power to help save money and reduce its carbon footprint.
San Diego Community College District will be entering a PPA with Borrego Solar Systems and will soon be benefiting from a 2.8-megawatt solar array. SDCCD will be able to buy the power that Borrego Solar’s arrays generate for 18 percent less than San Diego Gas & Electric’s rates. The district should be able to save them $110,000 annually.
In conclusion, it looks like San Diego solar projects are becoming more and more common – and when the cost savings are substantial, there’s no reason not to adopt solar energy.