San Diego solar panels: assessing energy savings and preparing for the future

Alcorn & Benton Architects | Paul Benton

San Diego is a leader in solar panel technology.

By Paul Benton

As mayoral candidates Bob Filner and Carl DeMaio tread the campaign trail leading up to November’s election, both have made San Diego solar panels a prominent issue for citywide debate. According to the Voice of San Diego, Filner and DeMaio each have their own plans to boost solar panel use: Filner proposes to power all public buildings through solar power within five years of taking office, while DeMaio suggests eliminating solar panel permitting fees for residents and small businesses.

Regardless of our political leanings, or of the election outcome, one thing is clear: alternative energy will play a major role in the city’s future. As an architect, I am proud to point out San Diego’s already impressive record with regard to solar power – and to lead the way toward a more sustainable future through the innovative use of solar panels in our local communities.

Leading the way in solar power production

San Diego already bears the distinction of being a nationwide solar power leader. According to Environment California, our city ranks first in the state when it comes to solar power capacity and number of installations; and in the words of Environment California clean energy director Bernadette Del Chiaro, “If you’re No.1 in the state, you’re No.1 in the country.” Both the San Diego city government and the San Diego Unified School District have already instated solar energy programs, and the city is currently on track to produce 50 megawatts of solar power by 2013.

By comparison, the South Bay Power Plant had a capacity of 309 megawatts. That plant was decommissioned last year, and now San Diego must replace that source of energy. With continued growth in solar energy installations, it appears that San Diego is on its way to replacing central generation as a source of energy.

All of this constitutes considerable progress; but there is much more we can do to spread the use of solar power in the areas where it can do the most good by offsetting energy costs and conserving vital resources. At Alcorn & Benton Architects, our mission is to tirelessly seek out the best and most innovative ways to create sustainable projects of superior quality, and to do so with the character and well being of the surrounding environment in mind. Whether you are looking to get a jump start on the next wave of San Diego solar initiatives with an alternatively-powered public building or private residence, or whether you wish to incorporate solar panels into an existing home or office building, our expert team can guide you from start to finish.

Solar power is just one source of alternative energy. Many people have questions about solar panels, and want to know more about energy conservation and cost savings before giving their homes “green makeovers.” Get informed by visiting, and then contact us at Alcorn & Benton Architects for project details. We look forward to welcoming you to our La Jolla architecture firm. Get in touch, at

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Posted by Social Media Staff on Jul 18, 2012. Filed under Columns, Paul Benton, Sponsored Columns. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “San Diego solar panels: assessing energy savings and preparing for the future”

  1. Kalani

    Great job San Diego. Proud of ya!

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