|California Solar Initiative (CSI) Newsletter - February 2008|
In This Issue
Call for Photos of CSI-Funded Solar Systems
Welcome to the February issue of the California Solar Initiative newsletter. This month’s featured photo, a 105kW ground-mounted system, comes to us from the Hansen Ranch Trout Farm in Fillmore, CA. Read on for important program updates and an opportunity to submit photos of your CSI-funded solar installation.
On January 31, 2008, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved Decision (D.) 08-01-030, which removes the requirement that providers of performance monitoring and reporting services (PMRS) be independent and unaffiliated with California Solar Initiative incentive recipients, solar installers, or solar manufacturers. With the removal of the independence requirement, any PMRS provider listed with the California Energy Commission is eligible to participate in the CSI Program. The Decision orders the CSI Program Administrators to develop a performance data provider (PDP) protocol for the data reporting between solar energy systems and the Program Administrators that serves as the basis for Performance-Based Incentive (PBI) payments. For systems receiving incentives under the Expected Performance Based Buydown (EPBB) structure, the Commission will continue to require PMRS, subject to the cost caps adopted in prior decisions. However, PMRS providers serving EPBB customers will not be subject to either the protocol-based approach or independence requirements adopted in D.06-08-028.
PG&E announces its 5,000th CSI application!
The Trigger Tracker Snapshot for February 20, 2008, shows PG&E and SCE’s nonresidential sectors poised to decline from Step 4 to 5. Commercial incentive levels will reflect these changes, moving to $1.55/watt or $0.22/kWh in those two territories.
On January 17th, PG&E hosted the California Solar Initiative’s quarterly Public Forum in San Francisco. Over 150 people attended the day-long session. Topics discussed included: a review of changes to the handbook to simplify the application process; a review of program statistics and the newly-released progress report; a discussion of upcoming SB 1 program changes from the California Energy Commission; and other program updates. Predominantly, participants were interested in finding ways to bring consistency in the data from previous solar programs, allocation of "stranded dollars" left over between the incentive steps, and the timing of the solar hot water pilot program (currently administered in San Diego service territory.)
The current CSI Program Handbook includes a streamlined application process, and new program application forms are now available on the Program Administrator’s websites or at www.csi.powerclerk.com.
On January 16, 2008, the CPUC released its quarterly California Solar Initiative Staff Progress Report. The report provides the history of the California Solar Initiative, and an overview of early and current progress of the program based on data provided through January 10, 2008. It outlines past, present, and potential program issues, solutions and future implementations. It also lists detailed program statistics, program highlights and updates, as well as updates to programs related CSI, such as the Solar Hot Water Pilot Program, the Research Development and Demonstration Program, and the Single-Family Low-Income Program.
The CSI Program Administrators have published three new fact sheets targeted to residential customers, businesses and solar installers that are available for free public download. Installers are welcome to use these materials with their customers. Look for more tools for program users in the upcoming months, including a web-based applicant tutorial.
Industry leaders and expert panelists convened in San Diego for the 10th Anniversary International Symposium of the California Alliance for Distributed Energy Resources. A dominant theme at this year’s breakout sessions involved “turning on” distributed power, and the California Solar Initiative presentations discussed interconnectivity, system planning and distributed energy resources, and CSI program highlights by Program Administrators and CPUC staff.
On February 14, 2008, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved a Resolution to create new “feed-in tariffs” for the purchase of up to 480 MW of renewable generating capacity from small facilities throughout California. These feed-in tariffs present a simple mechanism for small renewable generators to sell power to the utility at predefined terms and conditions, without contract negotiations. The CPUC expects that participating small facilities will sell their renewable power to utilities and help contribute to California's ambitious climate mitigation and renewable energy goals, and to the utilities’ Renewable Portfolio Standard goals. Qualifying renewable generation for the feed-in tariffs includes solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, biogas, small hydro and fuel cells that use renewable fuels. These tariffs are intended for smaller installations, less than 1.5 MW in size, where the host is a retail customer of the utility, interconnected and operated in parallel with the utility’s transmission and distribution system.
Each month, the newsletter will feature a photo of a CSI-funded solar installation. This month’s featured installation comes from the Hansen Ranch Trout Farm in Fillmore, CA. This 105 kW system was installed by GW Richardson Heating and Air Conditioning, inc., engineered and designed by Kris Sutton and Travis Richardson.
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.
When submitting solar PV system photos, please provide the following: name of photographer; name of installer, seller, or system owner; system size and location; and full permission to use photo in CSI related publicity.
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