San Diego sports more than 100,000 solar rooftops

More than 100,000 San Diego residential roofs now sport solar-energy systems after 1,942 installations in November.

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), which is already 10 percent ahead of its mandate to provide 33 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, announced the milestone yesterday.

Part of the reason SDG&E reached 100,000 solar roofs so quickly is its Fast Track application, which allows customers to interconnect private solar panels the same day the city or county approves their facility. More than 75 percent of new private solar customers are taking advantage of the program.

Fast Track’s streamlined process eliminates an additional inspection by SDG&E, allowing the customer to start harvesting the sun’s energy more quickly than a more traditional interconnection process.

In addition, SDG&E’s renewable meter adapter (RMA) program has lowered costs of retrofitting houses built before 1995 with solar panels. By installing RMAs, customers save thousands of dollars because they don’t have to do expensive upgrades to their electrical systems in older houses. Nearly 5,000 customers have taken advantage of RMAs, avoiding a cumulative $5 million in the cost to install private solar.

“Connecting 100,000 private solar rooftops is a clean energy milestone worth celebrating,” said Caroline Winn, SDG&E’s chief energy delivery officer. “It is our job and commitment to expand access to clean energy innovation that delivers cleaner air for our customers.”

In addition to SDG&E, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. is 4 percent above its 2020 goal, while Southern California Edison is 3.9 percent above the mandated 33 percent.