San Diego currently boasts nearly 150 MW of total solar capacity, across all PV installation types. This is enough clean electricity to power the equivalent of 32,000 homes.
Los Angeles claims about 170 MW of solar capacity. But technically speaking, San Diego installed more total megawatts in 2014. And when it comes to per capita solar coverage, we absolutely dwarf LA. San Diego has about 110 W of solar power per person – compared to Los Angeles’ 44 W per person.
The only cities that boast higher per capita rankings are Honolulu, Indianapolis, and San Jose (yes – Indianapolis is on this list).
How Did the San Diego Solar Power Industry Get This Far?
When it comes to solar energy, San Diego has an unfair advantage. We have tons of sunshine all year round – with very few rainy days. But again, this is true of many cities throughout the country. Arizona, Texas, and the “Sunshine State” all have metro regions whose year-round solar radiation matches or exceeds our own.
Sunshine helps. But there are other reasons why San Diego is such a dominant solar player:
1. Expensive Grid Electricity
Our region has some of the most expensive utility rates in the country. As utility prices go up, the economics of solar become more attractive for “fence-sitters.” In fact, installing photovoltaic (PV) panels is actually cheaper than continued reliance on the grid.
2. Solar Incentives
Another reason why we excel in solar is because of our envious incentives and subsidies. Although Florida might be the “Sunshine State,” it doesn’t really support green technology the way that California does.
According to executive director of the Center for Sustainable Energy, Len Hering,
The incredible success of solar adoption in California is directly related to the key role played by the California Solar Initiative and the US DOE’s Rooftop Solar Challenge Program in promoting solar technologies and helping to lower the hard costs and soft costs of solar systems for consumers at all levels.
Supportive statewide programs are obviously important. But wouldn’t all cities throughout California be rockstars?
What makes San Diego unique?
3. Solar Permits
The last piece of the puzzle is San Diego’s streamlined solar permitting process. Receiving inspections and approvals for upcoming installations is often a hassle in many jurisdictions (including Los Angeles). But in San Diego, the process is very straightforward, with many installations getting approved in a matter of days – not months.
San Diego’s Well-Deserved Solar Reputation
So admittedly, we have a great head start – given all of the sunshine that SoCal enjoys. But we would argue that San Diego’s solar success is by design. Our state and city officials set out to make sunshine an indispensable part of San Diego’s green energy mix. We even have a Climate Action Plan that requires the city to generate 100% of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2035.
This is why we rank so high in America’s list of solar hotspots.
Help us claim the #1 spot for 2015 by going solar today. You won’t just be helping San Diego – you’ll be helping yourself. When we’re done with your installation, your electricity bill will be next to nothing. And your carbon footprint will shrink to zero.
Contact us today for a free solar consultation.