Types of Solar Energy Systems

If you decide to invest in renewable energy, you’ve got options. Solar, the most popular, is available in different types of systems. Make sure you’ve maximized efficiency first, so you don’t overspend on a system larger than you need.

Solar is by far the most popular home and business renewable energy source.

  • Photovoltaic (PV): Converts the sun’s light particles into electricity
  • Solar Thermal Energy (STE): Converts the sun’s heat into electricity

  • Concentrated Solar Power (CSP): Generated through large-scale solar farms

  • Solar Water Heaters: Provide and circulate solar-heated water. Great for pool owners

As technology improves, advanced batteries are available to help you store solar energy as a source of clean backup or supplemental power. Although battery systems can be expensive, energy storage may make sense for your home or business energy needs and goals.

A battery can provide power when your system isn’t generating as much as you need, or after the sun goes down, when electricity can be priced higher.   

Like other NEM customers, your bill will reflect generation credits you can earn for excess energy exported to the grid; however, for storage battery-enabled customers, a monthly credit cap is calculated according to your system’s size and generation capacity, in order to ensure that credits are applied for energy exported from renewable sources only. Learn More

If you’re interested in wind energy technology, a small-wind turbine is an option for your home or business. Additional options that may be more suitable for commercial properties include:

  • Biofuel
  • Biomass
  • Geothermal
  • Hydropower

Your renewable energy plan depends on when you install your system. A recent decision by the California Public Utilities Commission requires SDG&E to sunset the current NEM 2.0 plan and implement a successor plan called the Solar Billing Plan. 

Customers who submit a completed interconnection application after April 14, 2023, will be Solar Billing Plan customers.​​

While SDG&E is updating its systems and process for the new plan, customers who connect new solar systems will take interim service on NEM 2.0 until the Solar Billing Plan is implemented. SDG&E is required to implement the Solar Billing Plan by Dec. 15, 2023. Learn more about NEM 2.0 and the Solar Billing Plan.​