There’s a clear reason why PG&E is investing in Bakersfield – pumping $5 billion into city improvement projects over the last couple years. According to smartassets.com, Bakersfield ranks as the country’s third highest city where millennials are buying homes. Between 2000 and 2017, the city’s population has increased by 55.33%. Bakersfield’s population has grown due to home prices being about half of California’s average home price of $499,950. With the median age at 30.2 years, Millennials are able to purchase single-family homes and raise a family.
PG&E Solar Choice
Homeowners in Bakersfield understand the benefits of solar energy. Many homeowners share a mutual objective – to make a return on investment with the purchase of a solar system and reduce their electric bill with PG&E. With average costs of solar in Bakersfield being $17,150, homeowners can expect a 20-year energy savings over $100,000.
Residents in Bakersfield that are not able to install a solar system due to limited space, shading, or don’t own a home also have options to save on their energy costs and lower the carbon footprint. Solar Choice is PG&E’s solution to provide renewable energy to customers without the need to install solar. By enrolling in Solar Choice, residents are able to select different plans that deliver renewable energy. Customers of Solar Choice also have an option to receive 100% of their electric energy from solar power.
How does PG&E provide solar power to Bakersfield with Solar Choice? By investing in 4 large scale solar farms in Kern Valley with 3 of the 4 located in Bakersfield.
Currently, the Interim Pool Resource solar system is the main provider for Solar Choice programs in Bakersfield. The other 3 are PG&E’s dedicated Solar Choice renewable power plants that are in development and scheduled to go live this year. All 4 solar farms have a combined total capacity of 26.25 Megawatts. PG&E’s Solar Choice program is also Green-e® Energy Certified – a nationwide independent consumer protection program for renewable energy, and environmental standards.
PG&E Bakersfield Power Connect
Power Connect is PG&E’s latest infrastructure upgrade for Bakersfield implemented in 2015 by the California Public Utilities Commission. Although the program is still in development, Bakersfield Power Connect will help introduce reliable and efficient energy flow to the city’s residents and businesses. The project will service 100,000 customers ensuring Bakersfield’s energy grid to be more flexible with changes to demand. Bakersfield Power Connect will retrofit older power lines with new technology that moves electricity safely and dependability to their customers.
Why PG&E Is Investing In Bakersfield?
PG&E has dedicated itself to minimize environmental impacts to the local community. Because of the Bakersfield’s population and economic growth, PG&E sees the need to invest into the city’s electric infrastructure. PG&E expects Bakersfield’s grid capacity to be at risk of overload by 2023 – which will cause instability with the transfer of energy to their customers. Investing in the local infrastructure will help PG&E to continue to meet Bakersfield’s growing energy demands.
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, California Association of Realtors, PG&E, Energysage