After months of debate over whether U.S. public land should be used to harness renewable energy, the Department of the Interior weighed in by approving two large-scale solar energy projects in California.
The state of California and SunPower are teaming up to research large-scale energy storage technology -- a key in enabling solar technologies to meet electricity demand when the sun is not shining.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has recently proposed a new way of subsidizing small scale solar energy systems (1-20 megawatts). And, according to Green Stock Central, the proposal may soon be passed; a final vote is expected within the next month.
Since the California Solar Initiative (CSI) was launched in 2007, northern California's San Francisco Bay Area has been an epicenter of activity within the state's solar industry. Richmond, a city in the east Bay Area, has thus far played second fiddle to San Jose, the region's perennial leader in solar energy installations. Last week, however, the former received some recognition for its efforts.
Coming to us via a press release is news that Southern California Edison (SCE) has awarded contracts totaling nearly 60 megawatts' worth of solar electric projects. According to agreements signed with a number of independent power producers -- like Tioga Solar, SunEdison Utility Solutions, Photon LLC and others -- solar panels will be installed on 31 rooftops and five ground-mounted sites across SCE's service territory.
Judging from number released a couple of weeks ago, San Jose can rightfully claim to be "the most" solar city in California.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) last week issued its annual assessment of the California Solar Initiative, a $2.2 billion effort to install 1,940 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity across the state by 2016. On balance, the commission's findings are positive:
In California, San Diego and San Jose lead the way in the Golden State's push toward making solar a prevalent source of power throughout the state. But at a smaller scale, there's plenty of variation (and competition) among California municipalities.
The California Solar Initiative manages solar incentives for the state's three investor-owned utilities: Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E). PG&E and SDG&E just met their last CSI goals for residential solar capacity and have scaled their rebates back accordingly, from the previous $1.10/w to the current $0.65/w.
Tomorrow, California's state legislature will vote on lifting the current cap on the amount of energy in the state's energy portfolio that can come from net-metered solar installations. Set at 2.5 percent, the net metering cap once seemed generous but now seems low--dangerously low, in fact, for the California solar industry. Successful solar incentives have encouraged nearly 460 MW of solar installations just within the service territories of the three investor-owned utilities (for more on the California Solar Initiative, start here).