We were pleased to learn a few days ago that, of the ten utilities ranked highest for use of solar power, five are in Sungevity’s service area–PG&E, SMUD, LADWP, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric. The other five are Arizona’s Salt River Project, Arizona Public Service Co., Florida Power & Light, Public Service Electric & Gas (NJ), and Public Service Co. of CO-Xcel Energy (CO).
The rankings are based on the total amount of solar energy in each utility’s portfolio, which includes solar power generated by grid-tied residences with rooftop solar arrays. In other words, there are quite a few Sungevity customers out there whose solar systems helped these utilities increase the share of solar power in their energy mix. In 2009, while overall demand for electricity was down, these ten utilities increased their solar power integration by 66%.
Though the trajectory is positive, there is still a long way to go, even for PG&E, the number one ranked solar utility. There are 85.2 megawatts of solar energy in PG&E’s grid, that sounds like a lot (whatever a megawatt is anyway), but it’s actually only….drum roll please–.14% of PG&E power mix. (Note the decimal point–it’s not 14%, it’s .14%. We need to break the whole number threshold and turn .14% into 14% tout suite.