Cupaiuolo Residence - Vista, California
Project Owners / Partners
San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E)
AstroPower Solar Modules
In October 2000, Altair Energy of Golden, Colorado, installed a 3.3-kW solar electric system at the Cupaiuolo residence in Vista, California (near San Diego). The photovoltaic (PV) system, manufactured by AstroPower, consists of thirty 110-W solar cell modules. The Cupaiuolos opted to mount the system on the ground, although most residential systems are installed flush on the roof. The PV system allows the Cupaiuolos to net meter by exporting extra electricity to the power grid.
The "Million Solar Roofs" program, announced by the Clinton administration in 1997, has made over $1 million per year available for state and local planning grants to encourage the installation of PV systems. The government also previously offered tax credits for residential PV systems. By taking advantage of both programs, the Cupaiuolos were able to reduce the cost of the PV system from approximately $31,000 to $19,000.
It is estimated that there are over 200 residential PV systems installed in the San Diego area, accounting for over 1 MW of power generation. Approximately 150 more residential PV projects are in the planning stages.