News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


Subject :

Palo Alto Solar Electric Program Gets National Recognition Again
Contact : Debra Katz, Acting Communications Manager, Utilities    (650) 329-2474
Palo Alto, CA –The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) has completed its fourth annual nationwide review of utilities' installation of solar electric systems, also called photovoltaic or PV systems.  Palo Alto remains among the SEPA Top Ten. 

This year, Palo Alto was recognized in three categories for its contribution to the national promotion of solar power:

  • Ranked #3 for the third year in a row for cumulative installed overall solar capacity per utility customer 
  • Ranked #3 for cumulative number of solar electric installations per utility customer
  • Ranked #9 for 2010 annual installed capacity (AC-Watts) per utility customer among all municipal utilities

"I’m very proud of our rankings, especially considering that we are a small, community-owned utility and were compared with all utilities nationwide" said Valerie Fong, Director of City of Palo Alto Utilities. “We will continue to encourage more people to use solar energy by installing either a photovoltaic system or a solar water heating system and getting rebates through our PV Partners or Solar Water Heating Programs.”

The PV Partners program offers customers a rebate when they install local solar electric generation ( The Solar Water Heating program provides rebates for installation of a system that heats water with the sun (

“Working with our customers to invest in renewable energy sources is an important part of creating an environmentally and economically sustainable future for Palo Alto,” said Lindsay Joye, Utilities Marketing Engineer, program manager for the PV Partners and Solar Water Heating programs.

Two immediate opportunities for Palo Altans interested in exploring their solar energy options are the City’s Solar Water Heating workshop taking place this Thursday evening, July 14, at the Cubberley Community Center ( ) and the Intersolar North America Conference taking place July 12 -14  in San Francisco ( 

Besides encouraging customers to install solar systems, the City of Palo Alto Utilities itself purchases solar power, along with other renewable energy resources such as wind and hydroelectric power, to supplement the City’s energy needs. Serving  the community since 1896, the City of Palo Alto Utilities focuses on providing customers with sustainable choices at competitive rates (

According to SEPA, its annual rankings measure a utility’s recently installed solar power and include photovoltaic and concentrating solar power technologies installed in 2010. The rankings are divided into categories by 'Solar Megawatts’ which measures a utility’s total solar capacities and ‘Solar Watts-per-Customer’ which looks at solar installations by the size of the utility.

SEPA’s report concluded that this year’s Top 10 rankings not only show a rapid rise in the solar installations nationwide but also how utility-led solar initiatives have expanded. Until a few years ago, the solar systems were primarily installed by individual customers. In 2010, the trend shifted towards large, centralized plants and utility-owned projects.

About SEPA

The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) is an educational non-profit organization dedicated to helping utilities integrate solar energy into their portfolio.   More information on their survey and the growth of solar systems nationwide is available online.