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Ounce for Ounce, La Mesa Tops the County for Solar Power Production

New study ranks La Mesa first in kilowatt-hours per resident in county, and 29th in the state.

La Mesa is the Jewel of the Sun as well, it seems.

A new report says our city ranks first in San Diego County—and 29th in the state—for solar power production per resident for cities of at least 50,000 population.

La Mesa also was 30th for the number of rooftop solar systems in the state. More than 720 cities were ranked by Environment California, which calls itself a citizen-based environmental advocacy group.

With 276 residential photovoltaic (solar-power) sytems in town—and 2,690 total capacity in kilowatt-hours—La Mesa ranks high as a neighbor to San Diego, which is No. 1 in several categories.

San Diego has more rooftop solar systems and more 
solar generating capacity than any other city in California, according to the study released Tuesday.

San Diego has 4,507 rooftop systems that have been installed, compared to a little more than 4,000 in runner-up Los Angeles, a city with a much larger 
population, said the report.

San Jose, San Francisco and Fresno rounded-out the top five.

Within San Diego County, Escondido ranked 17th with 709 systems, Poway was 26th with 544 and El Cajon was 28th with 533.
  

In generating capacity, San Diego was tops with 36,775 kilowatt-hours that are tied to the electrical grid, just ahead of Los Angeles. Poway ranked 41st, Escondido was 48th and Chula Vista 50th.

“San Diego didn't become the state's No. 1 solar city by
 happenstance—it was the result of local policies and programs that encourage investment in solar power,” Mayor Jerry Sanders said.  “It’s good for our
environment, it's good for our reputation as a city that embraces innovation, and it’s been great for our economy.”
  

According to the report, San Diego would rank among the top 25 countries in the world in solar generation capacity.

Neither San Diego nor any other major city appeared in another ranking in the report—the number of solar installations per resident. But La Mesa did.

The leader in the per-capita ranking was Santa Cruz, with 1.44 systems per resident. San Diego area cities were Encinitas, 23rd; El Cajon, 24th; Escondido, 28th; San Marcos, 29th; and La Mesa, 30th.

La Mesa had 0.48 systems per resident—just behind the 0.49 of Escondido and San Marcos.

In a ranking of solar capacity per resident—among cities with a at least 50,000 population, La Mesa was 29th in the state (see attached list).

But La Mesa was first in San Diego County in terms of kilowatt-hours per resident at 0.047.  San Diego, by comparison, had only 0.028 kilowatt-hours per resident.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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