Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New Senate Bill May Add $50 Million to California Solar Initiative Budget

Senate Bill (SB) 585, introduced on Feb. 17 by Senator Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego), will add a new section to the Public Utilities Code to lift the cap on the total cost of the California Solar Initiative (CSI) Program and change it to a cap on the amount that can be collected from customers through the utilities. An additional $50 million may be added to CSI thanks to the legislation.

The bill comes at an important time as CSI funding for commercial, government and nonprofit organizations has been exhausted for customers of Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E).

Started in 2007, the $2.167 billion CSI Program was expected to continue through 2016. However, at the end of 2010 funding for nonresidential solar systems, including schools, government buildings and businesses, was exhausted PG&E and SDG&E territories, and all new projects in these territories since then have been placed on a waiting list.

Senator Kehoe's bill will allow for additional money to be added to the CSI Program that is currently not allowed due to the cap on the total cost. The bill was passed by a unanimous vote by the Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications at the committee hearing on April 5, 2011.

Source: From CSI Newsletter

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