San Francisco Solar Energy Development

From time to time, we want to take note of some of the great things that are going on in the commercial solar market and reflect on their relevance to residential consumers thinking about installing solar electric power systems.

Today, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission authorized 5.0 megawatt (MW) of solar power projects that will be installed at the Sunset Reservoir and Pier 96/Norcal Recycling Center.  The project dramatically increases the amount of solar power generated by the City and is noteworthy for a number of reasons:   

  • The project will be owned and operated by Recurrent Energy, a San Francisco based commercial solar services company specializing in commercial real-estate oriented solar systems. 
  • The transaction will utilize a power purchase agreement (PPA) structure, where Recurrent will finance, build, own, operate and maintain the solar plant; the City will have a 25 year contact (with Recurrent) to pay a contracted price for the electricity. 
  • The project takes advantage of the strong insolation or solar resource in the City; while San Francisco is famous for its foggy weather, the project is further evidence that projects of any scale work. 

So why does this matter for a residential customer and what are the parallels?  If you live in San Francisco, the companies that are able to install your solar system are local, employing people that live and work in your community.  As in the commercial market, more flexible loan and lease financing packages that mirror the attributes of a commercial PPA are now available to the consumer; these are offered directly through the individual solar installers.  Finally, unless you live directly under the Golden Gate Bridge, the chances are, the solar resource in your neighborhood will be just fine for a solar power system.  

So, if it works for the City, it can work for you; arrange an installer visit/quote today and figure out what solar energy can do for you.