|California Solar Initiative (CSI) Newsletter - December 2007|
In This Issue
for Photos of CSI-Funded Solar Systems
Welcome to the California Solar Initiative (CSI) Monthly Newsletter. The Program Administrators—California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE), Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E), and Southern California Edison (SCE)—and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) would like to thank you for making the CSI program the best solar incentive program in the nation. This newsletter is designed to ensure you are well informed about changes and important news related to the CSI program.
On November 28th, SCE
filed two Advice Letters (AL) at the CPUC on behalf of the CSI Program
Administrators. The ALs contain over 30 proposed revisions to the
California Solar Initiative (CSI) Program Handbook, aimed at streamlining
program requirements and improving the CSI application process. The public
comment period ended on December 17th, and no protests were received. If
approved, the CPUC will reissue a new CSI Program Handbook. Stay tuned for
further updates in January. For all the details, have a look at the
January 1, 2008, marks the
date on which all PV systems equal to or greater than 50 kW CEC-AC will be
required to participate in the Performance Based Incentive (PBI). Systems
under 50kW may still apply for Expected Performance Buy Back (EPBB)
incentives. Last year, systems up to 100kW could apply for EPBB incentives
and all those 100kW or greater were subject to the PBI rules. . Lowering
the threshold for PBI incentives is a design feature of the California
Solar Initiative that ensures adoption of the performance paradigm set
forth under SB1, moving the state closer to its goal of 3000 MW of solar
energy production by 2016. The system size threshold will lower again in
January 2010, at which time systems equal to or greater than 30 kW CEC-AC
must take the PBI incentive structure. For information on the Performance
Based Incentive (PBI) design, refer to section 1.4.2 on page 7 of the CSI
The California Solar
Initiative Trigger Tracker is an indicator of when the CSI incentive
levels are expected to drop. Installers can consult the Statewide Trigger
Tracker to track the current incentive "step" for each customer class and
territory, the megawatts available in each step, the megawatts under
review, and the megawatts left in each step. If there are more megawatts
under review than left in the step, then it may be probable that any new
applications will be at the next (i.e. LOWER) incentive step level.
>> view the Statewide Trigger Tracker data in its entirety.
Continuing the high pace of residential and nonresidential applications, PG&E as of December 18th has received enough megawatts that are under review that will move the nonresidential incentive from Step 4 ($0.26/ kWh) to Step 5 ($0.22/ kWh). The PG&E team is quickly reviewing the applications that have come in within the past week which filled up the remaining 7 megawatts available to identify those applicants who have reservation in Step 4. This process should be completed within the next 20 business days. For those projects that have not sent in an application to PG&E, we strongly recommended using Step 5 as part of your project analysis. For those that have any concerns or questions on your specific applications please contact the PG&E team directly.
Beginning January 1, 2008,
PG&E’s residential electric time-of-use (TOU) rates E-7 and EL-7 will
no longer be options for new solar customers. During 2007, PG&E and
solar industry representatives worked together to create revised
residential TOU EL-6 and E-6 rate schedules that were responsive to the
needs of the solar industry. While no rate will be perfect for every
customer, the revised EL-6/E-6 rate schedules effective in 2008 were
specifically designed with solar customers in mind. Customers currently on
EL-7 and E7 will be able to remain on these rate schedules.
The CEC has released its
final “Guidelines for California’s Solar Energy Incentive Programs
Pursuant to SB1”. The Guidelines detail the CEC’s recommendations for all
solar programs, including the California Solar Initiative. The Guidelines
cover how each program should establish eligibility, including component
standards, system design and installation, and energy efficiency
requirements. The CPUC will consider the implementation of the proposed
CEC Guidelines, particularly as it pertains to the California Solar
Initiative application process in 2008. Stay tuned for further
PG&E Backlog Tamed
November 20th was a day
for celebration in PG&E’s solar division. What had become an eight
week review period over the summer and early fall was successfully managed
back to the program review goal of 10 days. This was accomplished through
increased staffing, process improvements and seeking ways to simplify the
application process. Hats off to those on the team for their late nights
and weekend work. Since the CSI program began in January 2007, PG&E
has received over 5,000 applications, indicating a flourishing program and
setting the bar for 2008.
On December 3rd, the
California Solar Initiative PAs filed their 2008 Interim Marketing and
Outreach (M&O) Plans with the CPUC. These plans cover outreach
activities for the calendar year, and are “interim” in nature pending the
consideration of long-term CSI marketing, education and outreach strategy
in the CPUC rulemaking. The 2008 M&O plans feature downloadable fact
sheets for use as sales tools, plans to develop a consumer’s guide to the
California Solar Initiative, and web-based training media, including
webinars and training videos on a range of topics. Suggestions for
multimedia topics that could help the public and the installer community
participate more fully in the California Solar Initiative are welcome—the
public may submit their ideas to the next Public Forum by clicking the
A plethora of information on the CSI can be found online. The primary portal is the Go Solar California! web site at http://cts.vresp.com/c/?CaliforniaPublicUtil/cb8b204d89/f72980e53d/97176902a5, a joint effort of the CEC and the CPUC. The site contains links to information regarding solar for new and existing homes, businesses, schools and public buildings.
Calling all shutterbugs!
The CSI program is looking for photos of solar systems installed under the
CSI program. The program may use the photos in the next newsletter or
other CSI-related publicity.
Mark Your Calendar
|The CSI program is funded by
California investor-owned utility customers and administered by Southern
California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric, and the California Center
for Sustainable Energy under the auspices of the California Public
Utilities Commission. The program began January 1, 2007 and runs for 10
years. Program is subject to change without notice.|
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