San Diego Ranks Second in Nation for Solar Power

Shining Cities Report Shows San Diego is Gaining Ground on L.A. to be No. 1

San Diego - Standing outside an affordable housing project with solar panels in North Park, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer and City Councilmember Todd Gloria joined with the Environment California Research & Policy Center to announce a new report that ranks San Diego second among major U.S. cities in installed solar panels.

The center's "Shining Cities" report said San Diego's solar stature is largely due to the clear commitment to solar energy from Mayor Faulconer, Councilmember Gloria and other city leaders.

Mayor Faulconer said the city has been aggressively pushing forward on solar-energy initiatives for years and the ranking shows those efforts are paying off with real results.

"San Diego is leading the way in solar energy and that's going to help us meet many of our City's environmental goals and put San Diegans back to work," Faulconer said. "Solar energy is a key element to the City's proposed Climate Action Plan, which calls for 100 percent renewable energy use in the City by 2035."

The Climate Action Plan - introduced last year by Faulconer and Gloria - calls for developers to include conduit for solar panels in all new construction. The plan also sets the goal of using 100 percent renewable energy by 2035 for San Diego.

"The fact that our City ranks second nationwide in solar proves that this option makes both environmental and business sense for San Diegans," Councilmember Gloria said.

Los Angeles again topped the list for most solar power installations in the "Shining Cities" analysis. However, San Diego is gaining on the lead set by its southern California neighbor, installing 42 megawatts of solar power during 2014 as compared to L.A.'s 38 megawatts over the same time.

"San Diego is one of the country's brightest stars when it comes to solar power," said Dan Jacobson, program director of Environment California. "As California leaders - Governor Brown, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Le&otile;n and Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins - aim to have 50 percent of the state's electricity come from renewable sources by 2030, San Diego is turning its commitment to solar power into a clean energy future."

According to researchers who examined solar power installations in 65 American cities in nearly every state, San Diego had enough solar energy online at the end of last year to power more than 32,000 homes.

"SDG&E is proud to support San Diego's progress in renewable power," said Jim Avery, senior vice president of power supply for SDG&E. "Today, San Diegans are well ahead of other communities in California and the nation, with 32 percent of the power that SDG&E provides to its customers coming from renewable resources. We are proud to manage an advanced grid that enables thousands of San Diegans to choose rooftop solar."

More than 50,000 SDG&E customers have installed nearly 350 megawatts of rooftop solar, helping to add to the region's clean energy mix.

Today's press conference was held at the Bridgeport affordable housing complex, which boasts a 66.5 kilowatt solar panel system installed by Everyday Energy in 2012. Thanks to virtual net metering, a policy that allows multifamily residents to receive direct benefits from their building's clean energy system, Bridgeport's solar panels are providing clean energy and lower electricity bills to residents in 42 units.

CONTACT: Craig Gustafson at (619) 453-9880 or [email protected]