San Diego has just reached a critical milestone in its long-term Climate Action Plan. According to SDG&E, there are now 100,000 privately owned solar photovoltaic (PV) systems connected to the local utility grid.
And this number only includes the 100,000 rooftop PV systems that are officially enrolled in California’s net metering program.
There are thousands of other solar installations that aren’t connected to the grid since they plug into on-site batteries.
According to SDG&E’s Chief Energy Delivery Officer, Caroline Winn,
“Connecting 100,000 private solar rooftops is a clean energy milestone worth celebrating and signifies this community’s commitment to increasing energy from sources that help reduce our environmental impact for the benefit of future generations.”
But how did we actually meet this amazing green milestone?
How We Got to 100,000 Rooftop PV Systems
There was a time when going solar was a huge hassle. In addition to finding the right installer and financing your system, you also had to go through a lengthy approval process with city inspectors and utility operators.
That permitting process still exists today. But San Diego was able to streamline its approval system to help homeowners and businesses go solar in a fraction of the time. Instead of using paper-based applications, prospective customers can now apply for solar permits online.
According to SDG&E, roughly 75% of all new solar customers in its jurisdiction now use the city’s “fast track” application process instead of the older, slower system. Thanks to this faster inspection process, customers are now allowed to connect their PV systems on the same day they receive approval from city inspectors.
Faster solar permitting doesn’t just help with installation speed. It also lowers the total installation cost as well.
According to some estimates, lengthy approval processes can increase the PV installation cost by as much as $2,500. But now that approvals are much faster, solar customers don’t have to factor these extra costs into their buying decisions.
San Diego’s Climate Action Plan is another potential reason why the city continues to break solar record after solar record. By 2035, San Diego is required to generate 100% of its electricity from clean power sources. Because solar is so scalable and affordable, it has emerged as the most sensible way to meet these ambitious green targets.
So, congratulations San Diego. 100,000 rooftop PV systems is an amazing accomplishment.
We now have our sights set on 200,000.
If you’d like to help us reach this next milestone, contact us today for a free solar quote.