Tag Archives: California Solar Initiative

Solar is coming to all new California homes. How many in Fresno already get power from sun?

By Tim Sheehan, The Fresno Bee

More than 1 million California homes are already soaking up sunshine with solar panels to generate electricity. Next year, that number will surge as new building standards take effect requiring all new homes permitted after Jan. 1 to have solar photovoltaic systems.

In Fresno, which already has the third-highest number of homes in California with rooftop solar panels, the number continues to grow even before the new California Energy Commission standards take full effect. Through the first six months of 2019, the city issued permits for more than 1,640 residential solar systems as additions or alterations to existing homes. That doesn’t count solar panels that home builders or developers are already offering as a feature on new homes.

As of June 30, more than 23,300 Fresno homes had solar systems in operation under the state’s Net Energy Metering (NEM) program. That’s third behind only San Diego and Bakersfield among California cities, according to data from Go Solar California. The total electrical output capacity of Fresno’s residential solar panel systems amounted to almost 148,700 kilowatts of direct current (DC) power. That’s about 144,000 kilowatts of alternating current or AC electricity after it’s converted from DC.

Fresno also has another 1,742 homes with solar installed from 2007 through 2017 under the older California Solar Initiative program.

Read full article in the Fresno Bee

Grid Integration Puts California Ahead On Solar Goals

By R. Kress, EnergyBiz

[Editor’s note: The following is part of EnergyBiz coverage of the 2015 Itron Utility Week Knowledge Conference in Los Angeles.]

In 2006, the California legislature passed what was known as the “Million Solar Roofs” bill, laying out what seemed at the time to be an extremely ambitious set of goals for integrating solar power into the state’s energy mix.

With a $50 million budget, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) contracted Itron to manage the California Solar Initiative Research Development and Deployment Program (CSI RD&D) and lead the development of a sustainable and self-supporting solar industry in the Golden State within 10 years – by the end of 2016. The legislative target to meet was 3,000 megawatts of solar power distributed statewide-and, as Smita Gupta, principal energy consultant for Itron, said in her presentation at the Knowledge Conference on Tuesday, that goal has already been exceeded by about 400 megawatts.

Naturally, increasing the amount of power derived from the sun posed a host of complications. Itron, as program managers for CSI RD&D, zeroed in on the need for a deep focus on grid integration. Of the total funding for the project, between 50 and 65 percent was ultimately allocated to grid integration projects.

Read full article from EnergyBiz

New Interactive Map Tracks Climate Investments in California

California leads the nation with its ambitious programs to combat climate change, from ramping up renewable energy to driving the development of cleaner cars and its cap-and-trade program. Now, an interactive online map is available to track where funds from these ground-breaking programs are being invested.  The new website – www.ClimateInvestmentMap.CA.Gov – brings together information on a dozen different climate and energy programs into a single searchable application, allowing users to view the locations of individual projects and providing a summary of climate and energy investments for each of the state’s 120 legislative districts.

Currently, the site is tracking nearly $6 billion in climate-related investments, including programs in agriculture, energy, transportation, natural resources, sustainable communities and waste reduction. The site will continue to add data on additional programs. Initially, the site is prioritizing for inclusion climate and energy programs with the largest budgets and readily accessible data. Among the programs included are the California Solar Initiative – which provides incentives for solar systems installations to customers of the state’s investor-owned utilities—and the California Clean Energy Jobs Act (Proposition 39).

Read full press release from the California Environmental Protection Agency

CPUC Shines Spotlight on Solar Program Success

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has released its annual report to the California State Legislature on the progress of the California Solar Initiative (CSI) program. The agency announced that consumer solar installations in California continued to increase in 2014, largely without rebate incentives, demonstrating that the state’s CSI program has substantially reached its goal of stimulating widespread adoption of solar energy and creating a self-sustaining market.

Highlights of the June 2015 California Solar Initiative Annual Program Assessment include:

  • Through the end of 2014, an estimated 2,529 MW of solar capacity has been installed on the customer side of the meter (including projects that didn’t receive CSI program incentives) at 302,266 customer sites in California.
  • In 2014, California installed a record 670 MW of customer-sited solar energy capacity, achieving a 31 percent annual growth from the capacity installed in 2013. The majority of these solar energy systems did not receive any CSI program rebates, as Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric are no longer offering residential rebates because they have either installed or reserved enough solar capacity to meet their residential CSI program goals.
  • Between the last quarter of 2008 and the last quarter of 2014, the average cost of installed residential systems has decreased 53 percent from $10.87 per watt to $5.14 per watt. In the same time period, non-residential system costs have decreased 62 percent from an average of $10.30 per watt to $3.93 per watt.
  • All but 254 MW, or 9 percent, of customer-sited solar energy systems interconnected into the grid in the large investor-owned utility territories are enrolled in Net Energy Metering.
  • To date, the CSI General Market program has installed 1,647 megawatts (MW), or 94 percent of its 1,750 MW goal, and will surpass its goal with another 258 MW waiting in pending projects.
  • The CSI Single-Family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) program has completed a total of 4,499 projects, representing 13.6 MW of installed capacity. There are an additional 316 SASH projects in progress, with a total capacity of 1 MW.
  • The CSI Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing (MASH) program has completed 349 projects, representing 23.2 MW of installed capacity.  There are an additional 41 MASH projects in progress, with a total capacity of 6.3 MW.
  • In just over five years of operation, the CSI Thermal program has approved 2,585 applications for solar water heating systems, totaling $33.7 million in incentives of the available $205 million CSI Thermal incentive budget.
  • The CSI Research, Development, Demonstration and Deployment program has conducted five project solicitations since its inception, resulting in grant funding for 36 projects, totaling $44.4 million. Funded projects have focused on the following areas: integration of solar photovoltaics into the electricity grid; energy generation technologies and business development; and grid integration and production technologies.

Read full press release from the California Public Utilities Commission