At Sunline Energy, we often publish articles about the dangers and limitations of solar leases. There’s nothing inherently bad about “renting” PV panels. We just don’t believe that this is the best way to go solar in San Diego – or anywhere really.
However, solar leasing does work. And the growing popularity of this financing option proves that you don’t have to be rich to go solar. With decent credit history, it’s possible to receive a brand-new solar PV installation – free of charge.
Because we often give solar leasing a hard time, we’d like to highlight one recent project in which leasing (instead of owning) a PV system actually paid off.
Solar Leasing in San Diego Actually Works
San Diego International Airport recently received a 3.3 MW solar PV installation on Terminal 2 and its adjacent parking lot. Keep in mind that 3.3 MW is a huge installation. And unless you’re a multinational company with deep pockets, installing that much solar capacity can be prohibitively expensive. This is why the airport decided to lease rather than buy its installation.
The new system is expected to generate 5.3 million kilowatt hours of clean electricity every year. This is enough to cover up to 13% of energy needs for Terminals 1 and 2. Over the 20 years of this special power purchase agreement (PPA), the airport could save as much as $8 million.
You Don’t Have To Be an Airport to Go Solar in San Diego
This is just one example in which solar leasing was a great idea. But you don’t have to be an airport to go solar. And you certainly don’t need a 3.3 MW system. If you’re like most homeowners throughout San Diego County, you could probably get away with a 3 kW or 5 kW residential PV installation.
With a smaller solar PV system, don’t expect to save millions and millions of dollars. But you absolutely will save. It’s possible to reduce your monthly utility bill to $0. Arguably more impressive are the environmental savings. By going solar today, you can reduce your carbon footprint – sometimes to 0.
Solar leasing is a viable solution if you have a very limited budget and want to go solar quickly and affordably. It’s a solid solution, but it’s not the best one.
If you’re serious about reducing your electricity bills and saving the planet, we strongly recommend using a solar loan instead (this article explains why).
But what if you have bad credit history and can’t qualify for solar loans or solar leases? Worse still, what if you rent your apartment and don’t have the authority to install solar panels (without your landlord’s permission)?
Tune in tomorrow when we explore how low-income families in one housing complex managed to overcome these 2 hurdles.
In the meantime, if you’d like to begin exploring your solar options today, contact us for a free consultation. You pay absolutely nothing to have our expert installation team look at your property’s solar potential.