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City Considers Solar Panels For Street Lights

The city of San Diego could save taxpayer money by installing solar panels on as many as 33,000 street lights due to be replaced, a councilman said today.

The panels would provide enough electricity to run the lights, and any excess could be sold to San Diego Gas & Electric for an estimated $6.5 million, Councilman Kevin Faulconer wrote in a memo to Chief Operating Office Jay Goldstone.

The savings and potential earnings could help offset cuts to city services proposed for the next fiscal year, according to Faulconer.

"It is imperative that we take action on all viable and responsible options to balance the city's budget and avoid making cuts," Faulconer wrote.

He asked for help from the mayor's office to possibly include the idea in the request for bids on the street-light replacement project.

SDG&E has a pilot program in which solar panels are put on power poles.