Solar energy program progresses

Solana Beach is taking steps to be the first city in the region to offer a program that allows residents to pay for a solar power system over the life of a long-term loan on their property taxes.

The city council authorized staff to solicit proposals to set up a bond purchase agreement and a voluntary solar assessment district.

The program would be similar to a new program in Berkeley, which allows the city to offer upfront financing to pay for solar systems for property owners who agree to pay back the loan over a 20-year period.

City staff expect the program to be in place fairly quickly once the proposals are submitted. While the city council was very supportive, council members expressed the view that the city not be exposed to any liability.