Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced that all of its operations service centers—nearly 100 facilities in Northern and Central California—will be 100 percent powered by solar energy through the utility’s Solar Choice program. Available in early 2016, the new program will give customers the option to purchase 50 or 100 percent of their electricity from solar sourced from new small to mid-sized solar projects in PG&E’s service area.
The announcement was in support of “Action Day” (Dec. 5), connected to the global climate talks in Paris. Governments and businesses around the world will be unveiling initiatives to reduce carbon emissions. PG&E is part of the California delegation attending events in Paris to highlight the state’s success in reducing carbon emissions.
By choosing the Solar Choice program for its operations service centers—where local crews, vehicles and equipment are based—PG&E aims to raise awareness of the program and encourage customers to consider signing up as well.
PG&E’s Solar Choice is designed to broaden access to solar power to include customers who are unable to install rooftop solar panels. Enrolled customers will pay a modest cost premium each month, and PG&E will sign power purchase agreements for new solar resources, which range in size from 0.5 to 20 MW.
“Solar power is critical to achieving California’s goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and we strongly support its growth—whether it’s for customers who install rooftop solar or for others through our Solar Choice program,” said PG&E’s Geisha Williams, President, Electric.
PG&E has already connected more than 200,000 rooftop solar customers to the grid—more than any other U.S. utility—and is one of the fastest utilities in the nation at connecting solar customers to the grid.
“By choosing 100 percent solar power for our local operations service centers, we’re leading by example and taking another step toward a lower-carbon future,” said Nick Stavropoulos, President, Gas.
In addition to today’s announcement, PG&E last month pledged to pursue a number of actions to reduce its carbon footprint, part of the White House’s American Business Act on Climate initiative aimed at rallying support from U.S. companies ahead of the Paris conference.