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San Diego’s Solar, Wind and Geothermal Energy

14 November 2010 No Comment

Solar By Helen Kaiao Chang

In terms of current production, San Diego is a leader in the solar industry, said Tom Geldner, marketing director with the San Diego Regional Energy Office. San Diego currently produces more than 20 megawatts from solar energy – enough to power 4,000 to 4,500 homes.

Kyocera International Inc. and Sanyo North America Corp. are the city’s two major international manufacturers of solar panels and systems. A number of local companies buy the parts, install them, and/or generate electricity.

Wind

San Diego also has several wind power developers – companies that organize wind projects by purchasing turbines, doing site engineering and contracting with power suppliers. Actual wind power generation is, however, minimal. With the exception of selected areas in the county, there is insufficient wind in the region. Consequently, wind potential is lower in San Diego County than elsewhere in the state.

Geothermal

San Diego County has little or no geothermal potential, due to the thickness of the earth’s crust in the region. However, Imperial Valley has 10 geothermal plants that generate about 327 megawatts, which can power nearly 22,000 homes. Geothermal energy, created by capturing the earth’s heat, is not strictly “renewable,” because the heat in any area can be depleted.

Follow Helen on Twitter @HelenChang

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