Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), a California Utility said in an announcement they hit a significant milestone for 2015 with 29.5% of retail electricity coming from renewable clean energy. That number actually exceeded the State targets of 23.3% for years 2014 through 2016, using a variety of generation sources, and puts them on track to achieve the very ambitious California State goals of 33% renewables by 2020, and 50% by 2013. The utility leads the nation with residential rooftop solar installations connected to the grid.
If you're a residential customer of Southern California Edison (SCE), you've got more than SoCal's sunny days to be happy about. You're also sitting on what is arguably the state's best solar rebate. We've discussed this before. But, looking at the numbers this morning, I could help but mention it again.
Here's the deal. In 2006, the state's public utilities commission launched the California Solar Initiative (CSI), a multi-year program aimed at providing more than $3 billion in incentives to solar-energy projects through 2016. The program was broken up into ten "steps," each representing a certain amount solar power (in megawatts, or MW). According to the program structure, as more solar gets installed, the incentive level is reduced. Like this:
While the world was saying goodbye to 2010 on New Year's Eve, many in the solar industry were gladly welcoming in 2011 -- a year that brings with it the extension of a federal renewable energy grant program for commercial solar projects, and a number of other helpful solar incentive programs.
Solar energy installations aren't making life easier for everyone, especially in California, where a unique, unforeseen problem has emerged due to the rapid rate of solar installations.
Some residents of Concord, California are up in arms over a 1,000-panel solar power project that could soon be approved by the Contra Costa Water District (CCWD).
Last December, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) announced a 25-year power purchasing agreement (PPA) with California-based SolarReserve, through which the utility would buy the power generated by SolarReserve's Rice Solar Energy Project in Riverside County, California. Yet for nearly a year, construction of the plant has stalled as the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) held off on approving the long-term PPA.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) faced many doubts and complaints as they rolled out their smart meter program, but an independent study released last week confirmed that the meters are technologically sound. This announcement releases a lot of tension for the utility-- the smart meter program had incurred customer protests, bureaucratic red tape, and even backlash from cities like San Francisco. The study found that the smart meters posed no technical problems.
One of the main arguments put forth by those opposed to the Ivanpah solar thermal project in California's Mojave Desert is that the negative environmental impact of the plant would be too great. On August 3, a panel of the California Energy Commission (CEC) weighed in.
The completion of the largest rooftop solar installation in the Pacific Northwest was announced today. Situated atop seven separate warehouses in Portland, Gresham and Clackamas, Oregon, the project covers 673,000 square feet of roof space -- an area roughly equal to 14 football fields.
The midnight hour is fast approaching for the three major California utilities. According to state law, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) are by 2010 supposed to meet 20 percent of their retail electricity sales using renewable resources, like solar, wind and geothermal. It's increasingly clear this ai'nt gonna happen.