Faulconer Announces San Diego Increased Solar Capacity by 26%, Ranks Second Nationally

New Report Shows Solar Panel Installations Surging in San Diego as City Marches Toward Mayor Faulconer’s Goal of Using 100% Renewable Energy by 2035

Friday, April 8, 2016- NEWS RELEASE

San Diego – Marking a big step toward implementing San Diego’s Climate Action Plan and the goal of 100 percent renewable energy use citywide by 2035, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer joined environmentalists and solar businesses Friday to release a new report that shows San Diego ranks second nationally in solar energy capacity following a 26 percent increase in solar panel installations over the past year. 
 
“San Diego continues to lead the way in solar energy and remains a shining example to other cities when it comes to improving our environment through innovation,” Mayor Faulconer said. “Increasing solar energy will help reach our goal of 100 percent renewable energy use in the city by 2035 – a key element of San Diego’s landmark Climate Action Plan.”
 
Environment California Research & Policy Center’s “Shining Cities” report ranked San Diego second nationally with 189 megawatts of installed solar capacity. Researchers said San Diego has enough solar capacity to power 47,000 homes.
 
“Thanks to its forward-thinking program and leaders like Mayor Faulconer, San Diego really shines when it comes to solar power,” said Michelle Kinman, Environment California’s Clean Energy Advocate.
 
This is the third year running that San Diego has ranked second in the annual “Shining Cities” report, which ranks the cumulative and per capita installations of solar panels for more than 60 cities.
 
Los Angeles ranks first overall in total capacity but remains far behind San Diego in terms of solar per person. San Diego has 136 watts per capita (fourth nationally) while Los Angeles has 55 watts per capita (15th nationally).
 
Increasing the amount of solar panels used in San Diego will help meet the ambitious goals in the City’s Climate Action Plan, including using 100 percent renewable energy citywide and cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2035. The City Council unanimously approved Mayor Faulconer’s plan in December 2015.
 
“Rooftop solar is key to San Diego achieving a 100 percent clean energy future,” said Nicole Capretz, Executive Director of the Climate Action Campaign. “In fact, rooftop solar will contribute nearly 20 percent of that goal. We can’t get there without it. Thus, we support any and all policies and programs to let the sun shine through and let solar beam from every rooftop and parking lot possible throughout our region.”
 
The new report was released at a news conference at the San Diego International Airport, which is benefitting from a new 3.3 megawatt solar panel system expected to save up to $8 million in energy costs over 20 years.
 
“The Airport Authority is proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with the City of San Diego in our collective efforts to create a sustainable solar energy future,” said April Boling, Incoming Board Chair of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. “At San Diego International Airport, sustainability goes beyond green initiatives, to building an enduring enterprise for generations to come.”
 
San Diego’s Climate Action Plan is a package of policies that will benefit San Diego’s environment and economy. It will help create new jobs in the renewable energy industry, improve public health and air quality, conserve water, more efficiently use existing resources, increase clean energy production, improve quality of life and save taxpayer money.