A team installs solar panels in San Antonio. Photo courtesy of Build San Antonio Green.
A team installs solar panels in San Antonio. Photo courtesy of Build San Antonio Green.

San Antonians have been installing solar panels on their rooftops for more than a decade, but soon CPS Energy customers will have two more ways to participate in the solar economy. To help navigate two new solar pilot programs, Build San Antonio Green (BSAG) – which has merged with Solar San Antonio (SSA) – has updated and expanded its Bring Solar Home program and website, www.bringsolarhome.com.

For homeowners who have a roof perfect for solar, but don’t have the cash to afford panels and installation costs, SolarHost is the best way to go. For those with limited roof space or sunlight – or for renters – community or “roofless” solar provides the best option. Both pilot programs will begin to roll out by the end of 2015.

Before its brief hiatus during the SSA and BSAG merger, the Bring Solar Home program was solely designed to connect homeowners with local solar installers. The redesign introduces homeowners and renters to their options.

“This program represents the beginning of a new age for San Antonio. Free, clean energy for everyone, produced on our own rooftops rather than in the power plants of yesterday,” stated Anita Ledbetter, BSAG Executive Director after the announcement of the SolarHost program yesterday. “CPS Energy breaks new ground through these innovative approaches that will provide access to solar energy for everyone. San Antonio will shine as an example to the nation of a sustainable, progressive, and renewable city.”

Since the program’s inception, according to BSAG, Bring Solar Home has assisted in adding 1.78 megawatts (MW) of solar in San Antonio, or about 10%, of the residential installations on CPS Energy’s grid.

“Not only can we help connect homeowners wanting to own their system, now we can help everyone in San Antonio access the benefits of solar by simplifying the process and offering all options,” Ledbetter said.

In a way, however, there’s another option in which CPS Energy customers contribute to the solar economy: simply paying your bill. The public utility has more than 134 MW of installed solar capacity in its Alamo solar farms and 266 MW slated to be completed by late 2016.

*Featured/top image: A team installs solar panels in San Antonio. Photo courtesy of Build San Antonio Green.

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Iris Dimmick

Senior Reporter Iris Dimmick covers public policy pertaining to social issues, ranging from affordable housing and economic disparity to policing reform and workforce development. Contact her at iris@sareport.org