This week California’s Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) announced that will soon have 2,409 megawatts (2.4 gigawatts) of rooftop solar arrays throughout its network of customers. That’s more than every other state had in total solar capacity by March 2016!
That doesn’t account for the more than 4 gigawatts of utility-scale solar power that PG&E has installed. In fact the only utility to surpass 1 gigawatt of solar power outside of California is Arizona’s APS, which surpassed 1 gigawatt of solar energy in October 2017. That PG&E has 2.4 gigawatts of rooftop solar alone is impressive.
The utility said its residential customers with solar power account for 25 percent of the nation’s rooftop solar customers. It currently connects about 6,000 new solar customers a month, with new solar customers coming online within three business days of completing their array.
As such, the company said it anticipated that it will reach state-mandated capacity for rooftop solar this month however. At that point it will move new customers signing up for rooftop solar into its new net energy metering (NEM) program – called NEM 2. Under that program customers will pay a $145 one-time fee for a system under 1 megawatt—the utility observed most home solar arrays are 5 kilowatts in size.
They will pay a small charge for state-mandated costs to contribute to low-income or energy efficiency customer programs only on electricity they use from PG&E’s grid—not on electricity generated by their solar panels other PG&E customers pay these same charges for all of their energy use. They also will pay for power on a time-of-use rate plan. Under which the price of electricity changes throughout the day based on electric generation needs.
“PG&E is dedicated to supporting our customers’ choice and control when it comes to their energy. Because of our commitment to clean energy, we want to make sure our customers are well-informed and prepared as they start on their solar journey. We’re here to help them throughout the process and to safely and quickly connect them to the energy grid,” said Aaron Johnson, vice president of PG&E’s Customer Energy Solutions.Tweet