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  We're No. 1 - Richmond Grabs 2009 Solar Energy Victory
July 14, 2010

In 2009, Richmond had more watts per capita of new solar energy installed than any other California city.             

New 2009 Bay Area Solar Installations (BASI) Report Finds Bay Area Leads California in New Solar Growth

Key Findings:

  • Over 52 megawatts of solar photovoltaic (PV) were added in the Bay Area in 2009 representing 55% of the state’s total and a 70% growth from 2008.
  • In 122 Bay Area Cities and 10 Bay Area Counties, a total of 4,534 new installations were added -a 25% growth in the number of installations from 2008 and 61% of the state’s total.

Top Ranked Counties for New Solar Installations (2009)
Santa Clara County  – 1st place for Total Number of New Systems
Santa Clara County  – 1st place for Total Watts Installed
Napa County            – 1st place Systems Per Capital
Napa County            --1st place Watts Per Capita

Top Large Cities for New Solar Installations (2009)
San Francisco – 1st place Total Number of New Systems
San Jose – 1st place Total Watts installed
Berkeley – 1st place Systems per Capita
Richmond – 1st place Watts per Capita

Berkeley, California – July 14, 2010  - The San Francisco Bay Area leads California in new solar installations according to the latest data just released by the Northern California Solar Energy Association (NorCal Solar), a non-profit solar education organization. 

The data highlight the significant growth of solar energy installations for 122 cities in 10 Bay Area Counties for 2009.  The data also reflect the increase in solar installations in the Bay Area since the California Solar Initiative (CSI) launched in 2007.  The CSI is a10 year incentive program with a goal of installing 1,940 megawatts of solar power on the equivalent of one million rooftops. The data reveal that since the implementation of the California Solar Initiative, the Bay Area has accounted for 46% of the State’s new installed systems and 40% of added total megawatts.

“The 2009 BASI Report shows that the Bay Area continues to be a major contributor to the overall CSI goals with a 70% growth in total new megawatts installed here since 2008,” said Claudia Wentworth, who chaired NorCal Solar’s BASI Committee.  “Despite the economic downturn, over 52 megawatts of solar photovoltaic (PV) were added in the Bay Area representing 55% of the State’s total.”

According to analysis of publicly available rebate data, Californians purchased more than $2.5 billion in solar electric technology (PV), representing 24,682 PV installations yielding 273.7 megawatts of electricity from PV solar power from 2007 through 2009. During the same period in the Bay Area, there were 11,438 solar projects - built at a cost of $1.04 million – producing nearly 108.7 megawatts of electricity. 

 The annual BASI Report uses population guidelines from the League of California Cities ranking Large Cities, Medium Cities, Small Cities and Counties for 2009, 2008 and 2007 only and cumulatively from 2007 – 2009 (beginning of the CSI rebate program) by Total Systems Installed, Total Watts Installed, Systems per Capita and Watts per Capita.
 The raw data for this report includes records from the California Solar Initiative (CSI), the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), the Emerging Renewable Program (ERP), and the municipal-owned City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU), Silicon Valley Power (SVP) and Alameda Municipal Power (AMP). The records used in the CSI data set were limited to "Completed" or "PBI - In Payment" in the status field as of the end of 2009. 

            For the first time, the BASI Report also analyzed installations by sector revealing that 93% of the installations in the state and Bay Area are residential while 7% are commercial, government and from nonprofit organizations.  Commenting on the report, Elaine Hebert, president of NorCal Solar’s Board of Directors, said, “These statistics underscore the grassroots commitment to solar energy from individual homeowners, whether in big or small cities and communities.”
            NorCal Solar Executive Director, Elisabeth Holmgren commented, “NorCal Solar continues to be dedicated to its mission of solar education and believes that this latest set of BASI data offers a valuable tool for Bay Area communities to build on each other’s experiences in solar energy expansion. NorCal Solar is happy to recognize our local communities’ achievements, as their successes can provide a roadmap for expanded use of solar for other communities. “
The BASI Report data tables and PDF report may be downloaded at: www.norcalsolar.org
Contact:  Elisabeth Holmgren, Executive Director at ed@norcalsolar.org
Deborah Burstyn, Communications Consultant at dburtyn@norcalsolar.org