Photo- California Solar InitiativeIn January 2007, California began an unprecedented $3.3 billion ratepayer funded effort to add 3,000 MW of new solar installations over the next decade. The California Solar Initiative continues to be the country’s largest solar program.

The state’s public utilities commission last week issued its annual progress report showing that the program has installed 66 percent of its total goal on 167,878 different customer sites, enough to fully power approximately 150,000 homes and avoid building three power plants.

This equals an estimated 1,629 megawatts (MW) of installed solar capacity as of March 31, 2013.

More Highlights of the report:

  • A record 391 MW were installed statewide in 2012, a growth of 26 percent from 2011.
  • Pacific Gas and Electric Company achieved the most installations in the non-residential sector of any investor-owned utility, having met 70 percent of their non-residential installation goal.
  • Applicants to the low income portion of CSI, known as the Single-Family Affordable Solar Homes program, have received $64 million in support for their residential solar systems while the Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing (MASH) program has completed 287 projects representing a total capacity of 18.4 MW.  There are an additional 83 MASH projects in process, for a total capacity of 11.3 MW. Virtual Net Metering has allowed thousands of tenants to receive the direct benefits of solar as reductions in their monthly electric bills.
  • In just over three years of operation, the CSI-Thermal program has received 1,215 applications for $56.3 million in incentives.
  • All but 92 MW, or 6 percent, of solar capacity in the state is signed up for Net Energy Metering (NEM) tariffs. Pursuant to Assembly Bill 2514 (Bradford, 2012) and CPUC Decision 12-05-036, the CPUC has initiated a study on the costs and benefits of NEM to ratepayers.  The study will be released later this year.

(Source: California Public Utilities Commission)

Photo- California Solar Initiative – solar array

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