Solar Siting Survey: San Diego

The Clean Coalition is excited to be partnering with the City of San Diego on the City’s Solar Energy Innovation Network (SD SEIN) Initiative. The primary goal of the SD SEIN Initiative is to analyze the distributed solar potential in San Diego.

To the achieve this goal, the Clean Coalition conducted conducted a Solar Siting Survey. The Clean Coalition’s unique Solar Siting Survey methodology identifies viable solar siting opportunities across urban environments and evaluates those opportunities based on the interconnection potential of the local grid for each site.

A snapshot from the San Diego Solar Siting Survey

Results

The San Diego Solar Siting Survey identified approximately 500 megawatts (MWac) of technical solar siting potential for large commercial-scale solar on built environments within the City. The survey pinpointed the location and estimated project sizing for over 120 prospective solar sites that could host solar PV systems of at least 1 MWac.

While a portion of the solar siting potential is on large rooftops, more than 75% is on parking lots and parking structures, which are often overlooked as siting opportunities for clean local energy. In total, this survey identified enough local solar capacity to fulfill the average power needs of about 500,000 homes during peak solar production hours.

Summary of structure types identified

San Diego has even more commercial-scale solar siting potential than was identified in this survey, which focused on large solar projects because they are more cost-efficient than smaller projects and therefore have greater potential to attract project developers and investors. If a smaller minimum project size of 500 kilowatts (kW) were considered, the Clean Coalition expects that the technical solar siting potential in San Diego would increase by a factor of two to about 1 GW; this would double again to 2 GW if considering projects as small as 100 kW.