CSI Program Administrators
Greetings and Happy New Year!
Program Administrators for the California Solar Initiative will host the next CSI Program Forum on Friday, January 29, at PG&E's Pacific Energy Center in San Francisco.
The agenda will include key project updates and CSI program changes, a 2009 recap and updates on the recently approved CSI Thermal Program for solar water heating incentives.
Ample time will be devoted to Q&A, so please bring your questions!
Registration is required. To RSVP, please contact Jessica Tellez at 415.973.5457 or JLTG@pge.com.
To learn more, visit www.pge.com/csiprogramforum.
As always, CSI Program statistics are updated weekly and available on the California Solar Statistics website.
In This Issue
The solar thermal industry celebrated the CPUC‘s unanimous approval of a much anticipated statewide solar water heating rebate program on Thursday, January 21, 2010. Under this new $350 million program called CSI-Thermal, gas and electric customers of PG&E, SCE and Southern California Edison Gas (SoCalGas) and SDG&E will be eligible to receive a rebate for installing qualified solar water heating systems starting May 1, 2010. The program is expected to run through 2017 or until the money runs out. Homeowners and building owners with natural gas water heaters may receive up to $1,875 and $500,000 respectively. Homeowners and building owners with electric water heaters will receive a slightly smaller incentive of up to $1,250 and $250,000 respectively, as it is currently more cost-effective to install a solar water heater that offsets electricity usage. Incentives are greatest at the beginning of the program and will decrease in four steps over time. The program has aggressive goals of displacing 585 million therms of natural gas and 150 MW of electricity, which is approximately the equivalent of placing a solar water heater in 200,000 single-family homes. Solar thermal professionals are optimistic that the new CSI-Thermal rebate program will greatly support the growth of the industry and significantly increase the market penetration of solar thermal technology. The CSI Thermal Program will be administered by PG&E, SCE, SoCalGas and by the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE) in the SDG&E territory.
On January 20, 2010, the California Solar Initiative's Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing (MASH) Program issued its first semiannual report, which provides detailed information on the MASH Program's progress in each of the three service territories in California. Currently, the MASH Program’s Track 1 incentives are fully subscribed in PG&E, SCE and CCSE service territories; all three program administrators — PG&E, SCE and CCSE — are currently accepting applications for the Track 2 incentives.
Assembly Bill AB 920 (Huffman, 2009) authored by Assembly member Jared Huffman, and approved by Governor Schwarzenegger in late 2009, will expand the current net-metering programs for wind and solar. The bill provides an enhancement to the current Net Energy Metering (NEM) program by providing a compensation option to the basic NEM program for "net generators," i.e. customers who import more electricity to the grid than they export from the grid, based on a customer's 12-month annual billing cycle. After AB 920 is fully implemented, these net generators will have the option to receive compensation at a to-be-determined rate or to apply the net surplus as a credit for the kilowatt hours subsequently supplied. Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) associated with any new surplus electricity sold to the utility will be owned by the utility, while RECs associated with electricity used onsite will be retained by the customer.
The deadline to submit proposals for the second CSI Research, Development, Demonstration and Deployment (RD&D) Solicitation, for which up to $15 million in funding is available, has been extended to 4:00 p.m. (PST) on Feb. 16, 2010. The second RD&D solicitation focuses on improved PV production technologies and innovative business models. More information, including the solicitation package, can be found here.
The goal of the CSI RD&D Program is to help build a sustainable and self-supporting industry for customer-sited solar in California. The CSI RD&D Program is administered by Itron, Inc., as Program Manager, under the oversight of the California Public Utilities Commission.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2010, all new CSI projects, 30 kW and above, must apply for the Performance-Based Incentive (PBI) instead of the Expected Performance-Based Buydown (EPBB) incentive. PBI projects consist of monthly payments on recorded kilowatt hours of solar power produced over a five-year period and require the installation of a separate +/- 2% accurate meter and a contract with an eligible Performance Monitoring and Reporting Service provider, as well as an approved Performance Data Provider. For more information, visit the Go Solar, California! Web site.
The Associated Students of San Diego State University extended their commitment to a more sustainable campus by installing a solar photovoltaic (PV) system to power the Aztec Aquaplex swim center. CCSE rewarded the students with a $286,116 rebate check from the California Solar Initiative during a ceremony held in December 2009. The 124 kW system will save the university more than $35,000 a year in utility costs and generates enough solar power to reduce 299,940 pounds of CO2 from the atmosphere producing roughly 241,887 kWh per year. Click here to learn more.
DOE Solar Technology Development Program to Support Three California Manufacturers
The fourth funded project is with Semprius, Inc., of Durham, NC, for efforts to develop a massively parallel, microcell-based concentrating PV receiver. Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, DOE is investing more than $117 million in developing and deploying solar energy technologies. To learn more, visit the DOE Web site.
PG&E's First Quarter Solar Webinar Schedule Released
Measurement and Evaluation Studies Seek CSI Customer Input
Call for Photos of CSI-Funded Solar Systems
Submit your CSI-funded solar system photos here.
The CSI program is funded by California investor-owned utility customers and administered by Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas and Electric, and the California Center for Sustainable Energy under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission.
California Public Utilities Commission