Solar In Your Home Without Solar On Your Roof

When San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) began exploring the possibility of developing new solar energy programs, it found that fewer than 30 percent of its customers were able to take advantage of rooftop solar energy systems because they did not own a home, could not afford a solar energy system, or simply did not have the ability to install photovoltaic (PV) panels on their roof because of structural or shading issues.

But SDG&E is determined not to let these factors prevent people from buying solar power in sunny San Diego, and is asking regulators to approve a plan that would enable its customers to buy all or some of their energy from solar projects in the utility’s service territory. The proposal, called “connected … to the sun” offers two pilot programs designed to gauge the level of interest among customers who are interested in solar power, but cannot install their own PV systems.

image via Shutterstock

The first program is a community solar pilot program called “Share the Sun.” Under this program, SDG&E will partner with solar developers to offer 10 megawatts (MW) of solar power capacity for subscription. SDG&E customers who participate in the program will purchase a share of the facilities’ production capacity, and receive a bill credit for the value of the power produced.

Lauren Craig is a writer and consultant living in Seattle, WA. She holds an M.S. in International Development from Tulane University, and is co-founder of Sustainable Systems Integrators, LLC., an employee-owned solar energy design and installation firm in New Orleans, LA. She is also certified in PV design and installation by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).

    • Rizzoadam

      Anybody who thinks SDG is trying to help people with this program and really cares about customers is crazy. This is just about more profits and putting local solar companies out of business. u00a0SDG has no business in the solar business!!!!!! They realize if they don’t convince regulators that their days are numbered. u00a0Don’t be fooled by their latest u00a0sales pitch!!!!n