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San Diego Seeks Proposals For Providing Renewable Energy To Residents

A home in the El Cerrito neighborhood of San Diego has solar panels on its ro...

Photo by Richard Klein

Above: A home in the El Cerrito neighborhood of San Diego has solar panels on its roof, Jan. 25, 2016.

The city of San Diego announced Thursday that it is looking for proposals from organizations on how they might provide residential and commercial electricity from renewable resources.

The Request for Qualifications comes as city officials evaluate what is called "Community Choice Aggregation" as part of a plan to address climate change. CCA is a way for municipal governments to acquire power without going through the area's main utility — San Diego Gas & Electric in this case.

Environmental advocates view CCA — sometimes called Community Choice Energy — as a way to increase the use of renewables. SDG&E says that 43 percent of its energy comes from renewable sources like solar and wind.

San Diego's climate action plan, approved by the City Council nearly two years ago, set a goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2035.

RELATED: Solana Beach Becomes First In County To Opt For Alternative Energy Program

The Request for Qualifications will allow city officials to gather more information before City Council hearings begin on the issue, possibly beginning in December.

"This is the next step toward reaching our ultimate goal of having all electricity citywide come from renewable sources," said Mayor Kevin Faulconer. "Given how ambitious our goal is, we must consider any and all options, which is why we're casting a wide net for ideas on how to get where we want to go."

Some area environmentalists have accused city officials of dragging their feet on the climate change program, and specifically demanded more spending in the upcoming fiscal year on CCA. The mayor's office, however, contended that they are far ahead of 2020 targets set in the plan.

The city also reported a 54 percent increase in solar photovoltaic permits issued last year compared to the year before.

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