San Diego’s Solar Electric Battery Debate Heats Up
Solar energy is great.  You capture sunlight, transform it into electricity, and power your home or business with zero pollution.

And you do all of this for less than what you currently pay to the electricity company every month.

But it gets even better.

Thanks to San Diego’s net metering program, you can sell excess solar electricity to your local utility at a profit.

  • During the day, you send extra solar energy into the grid (when prices are at their highest)
  • And at night, you buy back the energy you need from the grid (when prices are at their lowest)

It gets even better.

With on-site solar electric battery storage, you can avoid having to buy any electricity from the grid.  Your panels create all the energy you need – including the excess electricity you sell to SDG&E, PG&E, or SoCal Edison.

Imagine being able to opt out of the utility game altogether – and still make money.

Why the Solar Electric Battery Hasn’t Taken Off in San Diego

The above scenario almost sounds like some futuristic sci-fi fantasy.  And yet, the technology is already here – and becoming cheaper every day.

So if solar electric battery storage prices keep falling, why hasn’t the technology become mainstream already?

The answer is simple – at least in the great state of California.

You see, the utility companies are fighting tooth and nail to prevent battery-enabled solar PV systems from connecting to the grid.  In fact, experts estimate a backlog of 300 projects representing 10 MW of clean solar capacity.

You heard correctly.

The 3 biggest utilities are essentially blocking these solar projects, preventing countless homeowners from realizing the environmental and financial benefits of renewable energy.

Why are they blocking these projects?

Because they’re scared that solar customers might store “grid” electricity and sell back this dirty energy – as if it were actually solar electricity.

In other words, customers might try to game the system.

This is certainly possible – in theory.  But it’s pretty unlikely.  Solar customers are honest, decent people who care deeply about the environment and want to reduce their monthly electricity bills.  The utility companies’ fears about “cheating” are largely unfounded.

This explains why the California Public Utilities Commission has already begun reviewing the situation.  If state regulators are successful, the current backlog of solar projects could be cleared, and California could welcome 10 more megawatts of clean renewable energy.

As America’s most active solar market, what happens in California could set the stage for the rest of the country.  We’ll continue following this story and keep you updated on developments.

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