San Diego, CA goes solar with SunPower®
Solar in America's Finest City, San Diego
The state of solar power in San Diego, CA
California is among the largest producers of solar power in the U.S., with San Diego being one of its major contributors. As of 2016, the city ranked second for solar power capacity. By 2018, the Solar Energy Industries Association ranked the entire state of California first in the nation for solar generation.
Bright sunny days with clear skies are hallmarks of San Diego and make it perfect for solar power. Various laws and government incentives have also helped create a major shift toward renewable energy.
How much solar power does San Diego, CA produce?
San Diego generates far more electricity than most cities in the U.S. In fact, California produced so much solar power in 2017 that it had to pay neighboring states like Arizona to take some of that electricity to avoid overloading its power grid.
Currently, California generates 26,232.25MW of solar-powered electricity from 1,055,286 installations. That’s enough electricity for 6,828,939 homes—and more homes powered by solar than anywhere else in the U.S. Solar power generation in California is expected to rise another 15,867 MW over the next five years.
San Diego itself, per the California Energy Commission, has a 147.6 MW solar power production capacity and 354,024 net MWh.
Is solar power generation feasible in San Diego, CA?
Thanks to its climate and land area, solar is more than just feasible in San Diego - it's ideal. The city’s Direct Normal Irradiance (DNI) stands around 5.88, meaning it has excellent weather, maximum sunlight, and minimal airborne particulates.
In addition, California legislation and various incentives make installing solar systems a pocket-friendly long-term investment. Homeowners can choose to get their solar power from power companies or generate their own via residential systems.
Two system types are popular in the sunshine state—solar thermal and solar photovoltaic (PV). Solar thermal systems generate electricity by using sunlight to warm fluids and make steam. The steam generation turns turbines, which generate electricity.
On the other hand, solar photovoltaic (PV) directly converts the rays from sunlight caught by solar panels into electricity. Solar PV electricity generation exceeded that of solar thermal in 2008 and is now the most common solar system type in California.
How much does solar power cost in San Diego, CA?
Compared to other states, solar installation is quite affordable in California, including in San Diego. The cost of solar in the state has dropped by 36 percent over the last five years. The average payback period for solar in San Diego is 4 years, 6 months, but this will vary depending on the system type and size, cost of electricity, and availability of net metering.
What legal considerations affect solar power in San Diego, CA?
There are several financial incentives for San Diego residents to switch to solar power. The most popular is the federal tax credit.
In 2020, homeowners who purchase solar may qualify for a 26 percent federal investment tax credit (ITC) on solar system installation.* It can dramatically offset the cost of having solar panels installed for your home or business, by providing you a credit on your income taxes.
Other rebates that San Diego residents are eligible for include:
- Property tax exclusion for solar energy systems
- The Sonoma County energy independence program
- NEM 2.0 net metering
Net metering is especially beneficial cost-wise as you get full credit for any excess electricity that your solar system sends to the state grid. You can avoid the need for battery banks - as the cost of your nighttime energy use is covered by the excess you generate when the sun is shining.
- *. Tax credits subject to change. SunPower does not warrant, guarantee or otherwise advise its partners or customers about specific tax outcomes. Consult your tax advisor regarding the solar tax credit and how it applies to your specific circumstances. Please visit the dsireusa.org website for detailed solar policy information.
How can I start using solar in San Diego, CA?
Considering the ease, energy-efficiency, and cost benefits of switching to solar power in San Diego, its no wonder California is leading the way in the solar power revolution.
If you live in San Diego and would like help installing a solar system in your home or business to boost your energy efficiency and reduce energy costs, contact us online or call us at (800) 786-7693 to schedule your free consultation.
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