San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has requested approval of
its new solar proposal called Connected to the Sun. The proposal
complements rooftop solar and includes two different pilot programs
that would give all SDG&E customers options to buy solar power
even if they do not own a home, cannot afford a solar investment, or
do not have the ability to put photovoltaic panels on their roof.
Customers could choose to buy all or some of their energy from solar
projects located in SDG&E's service territory or negotiate
directly with a local solar provider.
shows that fewer than 30 percent of our customers currently can take
advantage of rooftop solar either because of structural, shading or
ownership issues," said James P. Avery, senior vice president of
power supply for SDG&E. "Our proposal would expand
solar access to all of our customers and also open up a new potential
market for solar developers. With the addition of more clean
solar energy, our communities, the environment and our region will
benefit," added Avery.
includes two pilot program elements designed to gauge the level of
interest among customers for whom rooftop solar may not be a viable
- Share the Sun --
This community solar pilot program would open up a new potential
market for solar providers. Up to 10 megawatts (MW) of
solar power will be available for the program from projects
owned by solar providers. Customers could acquire a
portion of the power produced by a solar-energy system in
SDG&E's service area to cover all or part of their electricity
use and receive a bill credit for the value of the solar power
their portion generates. The "green attributes"
of the solar power would belong to the customer and would not be
applied toward SDG&E's renewable portfolio goals. However,
SDG&E will take delivery of all the energy from these
projects, and any unsubscribed energy will be added to
SDG&E's renewable portfolio, but will be over and above what
is procured to meet the 33 percent renewables target.
- SunRate --
With this pilot program, customers could have their energy
supplied from local solar projects already under contract to
SDG&E. As much as 10 MW will be available under this
"green" rate. Customers would buy the solar
energy from SDG&E to cover 50 percent, 75 percent, or all of
their energy use. The price will be based on the cost of the
solar energy from the local solar projects. A minimum one-year
commitment is required.
'connected.....to the sun' proposal provides options for an easy,
affordable way customers can meet their energy needs with locally
generated solar power no matter where they live," said
Avery. "By participating in one of these pilot programs,
they could benefit from economies of scale and optimal solar sites
that will help drive down costs, while also having the flexibility to
take their solar subscription with them if they move within
SDG&E's service area."
The advantage of
large solar projects is that they can be built to maximize system
benefits and minimize costs by selecting locations with the best sun
exposure. And, because these pilot programs won't rely on rate
subsidies, customers will have greater economic certainty by being
able to lock in the price of the solar commodity over the term of