California Center for Sustainable Energy | Pacific Gas & Electric Company | Southern California Edison
California Solar Initiative (CSI) Newsletter - September 2008

Workshops and Trainings

Southern California Edison "Introduction to CSI Installer" Training

Sept. 23, 2008
8 a.m.–12 p.m.
6090 Irwindale Ave.
Irwindale, CA 91702

To register, please call:
(800) 336-2822, ext. 42537.

>> click here for maps and directions.

SCE Homeowner Solar Information Sessions
Oct. 21, 2008: SCE’s Saddleback Service Center, Irvine, CA
Oct. 22, 2008: SCE’s CTAC Facility, Irwindale, CA
Oct. 28, 2008: James Workman Middle School, Cathedral City, CA
Oct. 29, 2008: Santa Barbara Public Library, Santa Barbara, CA
6:30-8 p.m.

>> click here for more information about these new, FREE sessions.

To register, please call: (800) 336-2822, ext. 42537

PG&E PV Site Analysis and System Sizing
Oct. 23, 2008
9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Pacific Energy Center
851 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA 94103

>> click here for maps and directions
>> click here to register.

PG&E CSI Workshop
October 24, 2008
9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Pacific Energy Center
851 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA 94103

>> click here for maps and directions
>> click here to register.

PG&E Inspecting PV Systems for Code Compliance
Oct. 29, 2008
9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Pacific Energy Center
851 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA 94103

>> click here for maps and directions
>> click here to register.

CCSE Solar Water Heating Pilot Program Contractor and Self-Installer Orientation and Training
Sept. 18, 2008
9 a.m.-4 p.m.
8690 Balboa Ave., Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92123
>> click here
for directions
>> click here to register

CCSE Monthly Solar for Homeowners Workshop
Sept. 25, 2008
11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
8690 Balboa Ave., Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92123
>> click here for directions
>> click here to register

Special Events

ASES National Solar Tour

>> click here for more information
>> click here for a list of California homes on the tour
>> click here to read the Daily Green about the event

Solar Power 2008
Oct. 13-16, 2008
San Diego, CA

>> click here for more information on Solar Power 2008

CCSE Family Solar Day
Oct. 12, 2008
Spanish Landing Park
San Diego, CA 92101

>> click here to register

Useful Links

California Center for Sustainable Energy

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Southern California Edison

California Public Utilities Commission 

Go Solar California Web site

CSI Handbook

csi-nl-box-septGreetings ,

This month’s solar feature incorporates an interactive photo show submitted by Green Dragon Solar that chronicles the installation of a 6.1-kW PV system on a beautiful home in Stockton, Calif. Click the photo to the left to watch the show, and be sure to read on for important updates from the California Solar Initiative.

In This Issue

Next CSI Public Forum Scheduled at Solar Power 2008 in San Diego

The next CSI Public Forum will be held in conjunction with the Solar Power International 2008 conference on Oct. 15, 2008 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the San Diego Convention Center. The CSI Forum takes place on “Public Night” at the conference and is free and open to all participants. CSI Program Administrators will provide an overview of the progress of the California Solar Initiative, announce upcoming CSI Program changes, and host a panel discussion with audience Q&A opportunities.

>> click here for information about the Public Forum on the Solar Power ‘08 Schedule.

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“Submit Interconnection Applications Without Delay” Warn CSI Program Administrators

If you’re installing a solar electric generating system before the end of the year, now is the time to submit your interconnection application.

That’s because the CSI Program Administrators are expecting a rush of applications due to expiring Federal Investment Tax Credits (ITC) at the end of 2008. Congress has not yet renewed the ITC, which provide tax credits for residents and businesses that install solar energy systems.

For many, the ITC is a key factor in solar financing, and many customers and installers are pushing to fully install all viable projects by Dec. 31, 2008, in order to claim it for the 2008 tax year.

Since some projects require inspection or interconnection upgrades through their utility, the PAs recommend submitting interconnection applications as early as possible for any project expected to be complete by year’s end.

>> click here for information on the Federal Investment Tax Credit
>> click here for PG&E's interconnection information
>> click here for SCE's interconnection information
>> click here for SDG&E's interconnection information

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Non-PV Application Materials Available October 2008

On Oct. 1, 2008, Non-PV Application materials will be accessible on Program Administrator's websites and at www.gosolarcalifornia.ca.gov. Materials available will include a summary guide and forms required for the application process.

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CPUC Issues Proposed Decision for Affordable Solar Housing

On Sept. 9, 2008, the CPUC released a proposed decision establishing a $108 million solar incentive program for Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing (MASH) as part of the CSI Program. The MASH program will provide solar incentives to qualifying affordable housing developments in California. Comments on the proposed decision are due Sept. 29.

>> click here for full text of the proposed decision.

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IREC Issues US Solar Market Trends 2007: California #1 in Solar

In August 2008, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) released its annual U.S. Solar Market Trends 2007 report, which shows that California is still the top producer of solar electricity in the country. Ninety percent of grid-connected installations in 2007 were in just five states, California, New Jersey, Nevada, Colorado and New York—with California representing 58% of all grid-tied capacity in the U.S.

The IREC report noted that process improvements in the CSI Program have had a positive impact on solar development in California, with 88 megawatts (MW) of solar energy installed in 2007. According to the California Public Utilities Commission July 2008 Staff Progress Report, solar installations through the CSI program are expected to be at least 100 MW in 2008.

>> click here to read the IREC US Solar Market Trends report.

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CCSE Monitors Solar Megawatts as Step 5 Approaches

The California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE), the CSI Program Administrator for San Diego Gas and Electric’s (SDG&E) service territory, experienced a flood of non-residential applications after SDG&E’s recent announcement of new electric rate schedules designed to accommodate renewable energy at the customer level. John Supp, CSI program manager at CCSE said, “The release of the new SDG&E tariff has obviously had a positive impact on non-residential projects.”

New applications received by CCSE were anticipated to fill the remaining megawatts in Step 4, lowering the CSI incentives to Step 5 levels. However, as CCSE approaches Step 5 Non-Residential incentive rates the market was notified to cancel any projects that would not be completed by their reservation expiration deadline. Because of these cancellations, additional megawatts were made available at Step 4 for new projects. CCSE greatly appreciates the quick response from the industry!

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Trigger Tracker Snapshot for September 17, 2008

California Solar Initiative
September 17, 2008
Customer Class
Current Step
  Revised Total MW in Steps
MW Remaining
MW Under Review

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.

>> click here
to view today’s Statewide Trigger Tracker.

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Solar ABCs’ Annual PV Stakeholder Meeting to Wrap-up Solar Power

The Solar America Board for Codes and Standards (Solar ABCs) announces its annual Photovoltaic Stakeholder Meeting on Friday, Oct. 17, 2008 from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the San Diego Convention Center. Topics will include fire safety code and standard issues, proposals for changes to the National Electrical Code, grounding issues, PV cell performance recommendations, interconnection, net metering and solar access laws. The meeting immediately follows the Solar Power International Conference.

>> click here for the agenda and free registration.

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SCE to Host Evening Solar Information Sessions for Homeowners

sce-register-now-evening-solar-info-sessionsIn response to customer interest, Southern California Edison (SCE) is launching a series of free solar information sessions aimed at bringing homeowners up to date about solar energy and the benefits available through the California Solar Initiative.

These 90-minute, non-technical, easy-to-understand sessions will be held evenings at different SCE Service Centers and other convenient locations throughout SCE’s service territory.

“Rather than asking our customers to come to us to obtain basic information on how to ‘go solar,’ we are taking these sessions to them to make it as convenient as possible,” said SCE’s Javier Burgos.

The first session is scheduled for Oct. 21 at SCE’s Saddleback Service Center in the city of Irvine in Orange County. Three more sessions are scheduled in Irwindale, Palm Springs and Santa Barbara, with more to come. All of the sessions will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. so customers can attend after work.

>> click here for more information.

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PG&E Launches Solar Webinar Series

PG&E's free solar classes continue to receive positive feedback and packed crowds. To increase class accessibility and the variety of topic offerings, PG&E is launching a webinar series on a range of relevant audience-requested topics, such as the solar interconnection process and how best to ensure ITC eligibility, municipal building permitting best practices, Advice Letter updates and PDP protocol/performance requirements.

PG&E encourages all interested parties to check out the upcoming webinars on Sept. 24 on Interconnection and Sept. 30 on PDP Protocol.

>> click here for registration and forthcoming webinars.

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Californians “Go Solar” During Solar Energy Awareness Month

Go Solar, California!, the State’s campaign to promote the California Solar Initiative, and the New Solar Homes Partnership, celebrated “Solar Energy Awareness Month” during the month of August by highlighting energy-efficient and solar technologies to consumers across the state.

People can still enter the Go Solar, California! Sweepstakes for a chance to win energy-efficient appliances and Solio solar cell phone chargers monthly—and a 2009 hybrid vehicle at the grand prize drawing to be held in December 2008! To enter, visit the Go Solar, California! Website, watch a short video, and take a fun quiz about energy efficiency and solar options for your home.

>> click here for sweepstakes rules.

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NSHP Presenting at West Coast Green

Join the New Solar Homes Partnership on Friday, Sept. 26 for “Solar Power as a Zero Energy Home Solution” at West Coast Green. This year’s conference is being held at the San Jose Convention Center Sept. 25-27, boasts more than 380 energy efficiency exhibitors and expects more than 14,000 attendees.

>> click here for more information.

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ASES National Solar Tour Showcases California’s Best

ASESEvery year, the acclaimed National Solar Homes Tour event offers participants the opportunity to tour homes and buildings to see how their neighbors are using solar energy, energy efficiency and other sustainable technologies to reduce their monthly utility bills and help tackle climate change. Don’t miss the best in California solar homes!

>> click here for more information on the event.
>> click here for a list of California homes on the tour.
>> click here for an article written in the Daily Green about the event.

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Call for Photos of CSI-Funded Residential Solar Systems

Calling all installers! This is a great opportunity to showcase your CSI-funded residential solar projects. The California Solar Initiative Program seeks photos of CSI-funded solar systems for use in future newsletters or other CSI-related publicity. Photos can include completed residential solar PV systems, shots of installations in progress, or solar water heating installations.

Please provide the following when submitting your solar PV system, solar water heating system, or installation photos:

  • Name of photographer
  • Name of installer, seller and/or system owner
  • System size and location
  • Date project was installed
  • Full permission to use photo in CSI-related publicity

>> click here to submit your CSI-funded solar system photos.

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CCSE | PG&E | SCE | ©2008 California Solar Initiative


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