It’s not rooftop solar, it’s not community solar but now customers of Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) can go 100 percent solar through PG&E’s Solar Choice program. The program allows the utility’s customers to choose to purchase all or half of their electricity from solar farms in Northern and Central California, for what the utility called “a modest charge.” For instance, a homeowner that chooses to source 100 percent of their power through the program would pay $35.18 for 1,000 kilowatt hours a month in 2016.
“PG&E’s Solar Choice program is all about giving customers more choice and control over their energy, and bringing the benefits of solar to our communities. Our customers already enjoy some of the cleanest power in the country. Now, they can directly contribute to bringing more renewable energy onto the electric grid – a win for our customers and for California,” said PG&E Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer Laurie Giammona.
The utility said its program allows more access to solar power than before. That includes those homes and businesses that can’t install rooftop solar because of space, sun exposure or ownership limitations. As such it also allows renters sign up for solar power. The Solar Choice program also allows those enrolled in the program to Qualify for LEED and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Green Power Partnership for electricity generated from renewable resources. It’s also coming into play as PG&E and other utilities are trying to find other ways to offer customers access to solar power without having to pay for net-metering, for instance.
One of the first California businesses to go solar through the Solar Choice program was Kelly Slater Wave Co. It’s powering its new wave technology and high-performance training center in California’s Central Valley with renewable power. “Our first site in Central California is 100 percent powered by solar energy through PG&E’s Solar Choice. This program allows Kelly Slater Wave Company to not only be a pioneer in wave technology, but also in supporting sustainable power initiatives as we act environmentally through an alternative to installing solar panels and fulfill our vision of building the best man-made wave,” said Noah Grimmett, General Manager of Kelly Slater Wave.
The utility said it will continue to develop more solar energy to help support the Solar Choice customers. It anticipated that the program will extend access to solar to approximately 40,000 additional homes and businesses in its service area.Tweet