With 100,000 rooftop installations, solar shines brightly at PG&E
By Ellen Hayes
PG&E continues to chart its course as a national leader in renewable energy. The company is now home to more solar rooftop installations than any other place in the country.
The utility has interconnected more than 100,000 solar rooftops, enabling more than 1,000 megawatts of rooftop solar power in its service area. That is enough to power about 225,000 customer homes for a year.
"Thanks to PG&E's help, we're now saving roughly $35,000 per year on our energy bill and that savings is helping our bottom line and our local environment," said Pat Hogan, general manager of Five Star Auto Care in Rocklin. "PG&E worked to support our small business every step of the way along our journey to go solar."
This latest milestone is one part of PG&E's renewable energy success. In 2013, 22.5 percent of PG&E's power came from renewable resources. Seven of the 10 largest photovoltaic plants under construction in the US are contracted with PG&E. Add to that the utility's diverse set of renewable energy sources including wind, hydro, geothermal and biomass and PG&E is well on its way to achieving California's 33 percent renewables target.
"Surpassing 100,000 solar installations is a significant milestone in PG&E's support for solar power and our long history as a national leader in renewables," said Helen Burt, PG&E's senior vice president and chief customer officer. "We deliver some of the cleanest energy in the nation to 15 million residents in our service area."
The future is bright
The utility expects to see the number of rooftop solar grow even more. In addition to these rooftops already connected to the grid, PG&E, the solar industry and customers are working together to connect more solar every day.
- PG&E is connecting approximately 2,500 new solar systems per month. On average, a new rooftop solar system can be interconnected by PG&E in less than five days
- PG&E employees David Callen and Maurice Bell installed solar panels on a Habitat for Humanity condominium complex in Daly City in 2012
"We are deeply committed to supporting customers who choose to go solar and encourage customers to explore it as an option," said Burt. "The good news is that rooftop solar has come of age, and with installation costs falling, the pace of adoption is quickening."
PG&E's grid gets smarter
PG&E continues to research and deploy smart grid technologies that will help to support this large growth of solar coming online. Through PG&E's Smart Grid program, PG&E is modernizing the grid so it can integrate even more solar and other forms of customer generated energy. All of those solar customers still rely on the grid when the sun isn't shining.
"This is a win-win for our customers, California and the environment," Burt said. "We applaud our customers who take the step to go solar and are excited about its future. With strong partnerships and community support we're confident that solar will continue to thrive in California."
Find more information on PG&E's commitment to solar.