The cost to participate in Pacific Gas and Electric’s Solar Choice program is falling—thanks to the utility’s continued investment in solar power. The program allows its customers to source up to 100 percent of their electricity from solar power, without putting it on their home of business.
“PG&E’s Solar Choice is all about giving our customers more options when it comes to clean energy. By sourcing new local solar developments in the communities we are privileged to serve, more customers who want to support California’s clean energy future can now do so at a lower cost. This is a win for our customers, and a win for the state’s ambitious clean energy goals,” said Aaron Johnson, vice president of PG&E’s Customer Energy Solutions.
Under the new rates, the costs to participate fell 30 percent for residential customers and by nearly 50 percent for some business customers. The program allows users to choose how much of their energy is sourced by its solar projects. Rooftop solar also is saving the utility’s customers. Last year it told the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) that rooftop solar saved its customers $192 million in infrastructure costs.
For an average home in PG&E’s service area that uses about 500 kilowatt-hours of energy a month, the costs of full participation is now only $13 a month previously it was $18 a month, according to the utility. Customers can also opt to get 50 percent of their electricity from solar power at half that cost. The utility also offers an online tool allowing customers to estimate how much the Solar Choice would cost them based on their energy usage.
The utility already has procured 53 megawatts of solar power to serve its customers in the program. It’s also expanding the program, building solar farms at eight new sites in Northern and Central California. The new projects are being built by 8minutenergy Renewables, AES Distributed Energy, Green Light Energy Corporation, ImMODO Energy Services, Mirasol Development, Recurrent Energy and Solar Frontier Americas Development.
Some of the resources are “Interim Pool” resources—resources its using to support the program while other projects are completed. PG&E may count some of those projects toward PG&E’s Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) state mandate. But the utility stated that any energy used for the Solar Choice Program will not be counted toward the RPS.Tweet