Solar Programs in Palo Alto

Considering solar for your Palo Alto home? 

Rebates are available for residential solar water heating installations. Please visit the Solar Water Heating program page here.

Information on residential solar power (PV) can be found

PV Rebates still available for Palo Alto accounts served by a commercial electric rate (E-2, E-4 or E-7).  For  more information on the PV Partners rebate program click here.

Harnessing the power of the sun!
Palo Alto is using clean, renewable electric supplies as an integral part of its plans for a more sustainable future.  

We feel investing in solar systems locally and statewide is a great way to achieve our environmental goals.
 By the end of 2016, we expect 32% of the City's total electricity supply will come from solar PV systems located in California.  Click here to view a map of the utility-scale PV system locations.

Palo Alto actively supports the maximum economic use of: 

  • Photovoltaic (PV) solar electric energy as a renewable supply resource for the Electric Utility
  • PV solar electric energy as an alternative form of local power generation
  • Solar thermal energy for space heating, space cooling and water heating in local buildings

Solar Street Light Pilot: Come view the solar panels installed on nine El Camino Real street lights between Park Ave. and Embarcadero Road. This six-month pilot will help to transform our streetlights into a network of distributed solar power generating assets and will increase Palo Alto's renewable energy production at no cost to the City. Please click here to get the project details, view the live solar energy production and take the survey to provide your feedback.


Local solar plan:
  On April 21, 2014 the Palo Alto City Council approved a resolution to establish the
Local Solar Plan to increase the installation of local solar photovoltaic facilities in order to provide 4 percent of the City’s total energy needs by 2023. Future programs under evaluation include a Community Solar Program, Group-Buy solar discount program and a solar donation program. 

Local generation:
Large in-town systems to provide electric generation directly to the utility.   Palo Alto's CLEAN (or feed in tariff) program, offers commercial generators the option of signing a long-term contract to sell the renewable energy to the utility as it is produced.

How many so far?
 View a chart showing the number of solar installations in Palo Alto, by quarter, since 1999.

Streamlined permit process: Visit the City's Development Center webpage describing their improved permitting procedure.

Watch an interview with Marketing Engineer Lindsay Joye about solar initiatives in Palo Alto.

Solar Water Heating: You can get rebates for installing solar water heating systems at home or at work.   These systems can help you reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from your natural gas hot water heater (or high costs of an electric hot water heater).  Our required contractor training program ensures that your contractor will do a good job and know how to help you through the rebate process.  Check out this great 6 minute video overview!

Learn more about our renewable energy portfolio:
The City of Palo Alto has a carbon neutral electric utility portfolio.  This means that we have contracts for large amounts of renewable electricity resources, including solar systems, wind farms, hydroelectric projects and landfill gas facilities. Get the full scoop on these resources.

Last Updated: Aug 17, 2015