|California Solar Initiative (CSI) Newsletter - July 2008|
In This Issue
CPUC Hosts CSI Budget and Drop-Out Workshop
August is Solar Energy Awareness Month in sunny California! This month’s feature photo comes from Santa Rosa homeowners Marcia and Eckhard Konkel, whose 3.57-kW system, installed by Akeena Solar, will provide clean, renewable energy for years to come. Read on for important CSI Program updates and an opportunity to submit photos of your CSI-funded solar project.
On July 11, 2008, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Energy Division issued the fourth Progress Report on the California Solar Initiative (CSI) Program, and announced that there have been 59 MW of installations in the CSI program in the first half of 2008, which is the same number of megawatts installed statewide for all of 2006.
In early April, 2008, PG&E—working with the solar industry-- filed a Petition to Modify D.06-12-025 to increase enrollment in Rate Schedules E-7 and EL-7. PG&E sought to offer its E-7 rate schedule to all eligible solar customers who submitted interconnection or rebate requests in 2007 and planned to complete their projects in 2008. The CPUC granted the modification on June 12, 2008, in Decision (D) 08-06-011, and PG&E is ready to move forward and fulfill eligible solar customers’ requests for the E-7/EL-7 . If you have any questions regarding the requirements needed to successfully finalize your interconnection, call PG&E at 877-743-4112.
On July 1, 2008, CPUC Energy Division staff issued Draft Resolution E-4179, which proposed the selection of Itron Inc. as the Program Manager for the CSI RD&D Program. The Draft Resolution will be considered at the July 31, 2008, Commission meeting. The CPUC also announced the selection of Grid Alternatives as the Program Manager for the CSI Low-Income Single-Family Program.
On July 14,2008, the CPUC held a public stakeholder workshop to discuss issues raised by parties relating to the California Solar Initiative (CSI) budget, potential unspent program funds and incentive applications that drop out. CPUC staff led the discussion, which included potential options for program modifications. Parties have until Aug. 4, 2008, to submit post-workshop comments to address the issues raised in the workshop presentation. After reviewing the comments, CPUC staff will decide whether any steps need to be taken.
CSI Power Clerk, the online database used by the CSI Program Administrators to record and display CSI reservation status and incentive levels for all customer classes, has recently added new user functions. The database now calculates split incentives for projects that are reserved at different steps, and also allows inverter and array association. Additionally, the design factor for each array may be entered individually and the estimated annual kWh production amount may be adjusted manually at any point during the process.
Contact your program administrator for training.
On June 30, 2008, the CPUC issued a workshop report outlining the results of three workshops on the subject of performance data provider (PDP) protocols. With the release of this workshop report, the CSI Program Administrators have 30 days to submit a draft PDP protocol via advice letter. The draft PDP protocol will be considered by the CPUC and, if ratified, will be included in the CSI Handbook.
Integral to PG&E’s commitment to streamline processes and improve customer satisfaction, PG&E has embarked on a Six Sigma Process Improvement project. One of the early data points resulting from this project is the identification of the most commonly omitted items in Incentive Claim Form packages, i.e., the 10-year warranty and PMRS quotes. Since missing items slow down payment of incentives by an average of 33 days, the Program Administrators have included suggestions in the upcoming Advice Filing to make it easier for customers to meet these requirements.
To expand its curriculum of solar trainings for installers and consumers, CCSE has announced a new series of free solar webinars. Topics covered include How to Read Your Electric Bill, Residential Power Clerk Training and Solar for Homeowners. CCSE’s newest webinar topic—Required Documents for a CSI Reservation—provides examples of required documentation to obtain a reservation for an incentive, as well as detailed information on accurate completion of the forms.
The online workshops can be accessed at any time, are self-paced and provide examples of paperwork that needs to be submitted, as well as PowerPoint slides and audio commentary.
PG&E hosted the latest quarterly public forum at its San Francisco headquarters on July 17, 2008. The main points offered by the highly engaged group of stakeholders involved data integrity and advance notice of calculator and other program changes. Two topics in particular stimulated robust interaction: the California Energy Commission's proposed changes for 2009 and the Program Administrators’ proposal to eliminate the reservation process for residential projects.
The next Forum will be held in October in conjunction with Solar Power 2008 in San Diego.
The New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP), a component of the California Solar Initiative managed by the California Energy Commission (Energy Commission), provides financial incentives and marketing support to builders that install eligible solar photovoltaic systems on new residential construction projects sited in investor-owned utility territories. To facilitate the marketing and outreach efforts of new homebuilders and developers with completed and approved NSHP applications, the Energy Commission provides a range of support, including: media outreach to promote their development’s grand opening; a speaker from the Energy Commission at the grand opening event; builder logo featured on a Web site banner located on the Go Solar California Web site; NSHP development named on radio commercial tags; tailored Energy Commission quotes in builder press releases; and a secured radio station live remote at the development grand opening.
The Go Solar California! campaign and the thousands who participate by going solar have had far-reaching effects on state policy. To promote even greater adoption of solar energy, the Energy Commission has declared August "Solar Energy Awareness Month." More information will be available soon on the Go Solar California! Web site.
The California Solar Initiative Trigger Tracker provides an indicator of when the CSI incentive levels are expected to drop by showing the reservation and review status of all incentive classes. This snapshot compares the megawatts remaining in each step with the megawatts under review, so that users can estimate how close the incentives are to declining. When there are more megawatts under review than remaining in the step, then it may be probable that any new applications will be at the next (i.e. LOWER) incentive step level.
Call for Photos of CSI-Funded Solar Systems
Workshops and Trainings
CCSE Family Solar Day
Oct. 12, 2008
Spanish Landing Park
San Diego, CA 92101
>> click here to register.
Solar Metering and Performance Monitoring Exposition
|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.|
|California Public Utilities Commission|
505 Van Ness Ave.
San Francisco, California 94102