Report: Solar power surging in part of North County, lagging in South Bay

Statistics compiled by Equinox Center

SAN DIEGO - Solar power can slice your electricity bill and -- in some cases -- your gas bill, and new numbers obtained by 10News reveal the brightest solar spots in San Diego County.

After 16 months of construction, the Kalos affordable housing project in North Park just opened its doors. 

On its roof, there are more than 110 solar panels. The solar array powers the common areas, including the lights and elevators, along with the hot water and heat inside the apartments.

Senior project manager Sylvia Martinez of Community Housing Works said the solar system will pay for itself in 10 years.

"For the long term, the project is more sustainable, we're paying less in gas and electric bills," said Martinez.

The sight of solar panels is becoming a familiar one.

According to Equinox Center, the number of solar installations in the county jumped 46 percent from 2010 to 2011.

In a city-by-city breakdown, the cities with the most panels per person are Del Mar, Poway and Solana Beach. The cities with the least amount are Imperial beach, Chula Vista -- and at the bottom -- National City.

While the solar story is an encouraging one, it's still small one.

"Even though we have a significant rooftop solar here, it's still just a small percentage of our overall renewable energy in the region," said Equinox Center Executive Director Ann Tartre.

Numbers show solar power makes up less than 1 percent of the county's overall renewable energy mix. Wind and geothermal energy -- mostly brought in from other areas -- makes up most of the supply.

Overall, SDG&E has met its goal of 20 percent renewable. The state has mandated that number reach 33 percent by 2020.

10News is partnering with Equinox Center to look at quality of life issues. For a closer look at the solar breakdown in our county, go to

Print this article Back to Top