Friday, December 16th, 2011
The California Public Utilities Commission approved a batch of solar contracts yesterday — up to 544 MW worth, of which 294 MW are coming in at prices below that of building a new natural gas combined cycle gas turbine. That’s a lot of solar, at a great price.
SDG&E is buying 96-150 MW, a project developed (more…)
Friday, July 15th, 2011
The California Solar Initiative requires that solar systems that receive an incentive be sized to meet on-site load.
However, what if you install a solar system, then your kids go off to college?
Suddenly, without the hairdryers, radios, and extra (more…)
Friday, June 17th, 2011
In a proposed decision issued on June 14, the California Public Utilities Commission is proposing to expand Virtual Net Metering, a program currently being piloted with Multi-Family Affordable Housing, to all multi-tenant buildings. How does this work, and why is it important? (more…)
Friday, May 27th, 2011
The California Public Utilities Commission voted down proposals by PG&E that would have been a big step backward for solar customers. The two major victories were 1) the CPUC opted to maintain its 4 tier rate structure, wherein high usage customers are given a strong price signal to (more…)
Monday, March 28th, 2011
Last December, I moved into one of the most expensive places in the world to live, the gated community known as “Seadrift” in Stinson Beach, Marin County. I can count Senator Diane Feinstein and Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh as neighbors (though they only sneak out here upon occasion.)
The move ended up being a disaster on (more…)
Friday, January 14th, 2011
Many of us are generally quite gung-ho on the amazing power of wireless technology. From convenience to efficiency and cost savings, there’s plenty to rave about.
Yet in the San Francisco Bay Area — and in particular in my Marin County home — citizens are up in arms, blockading trucks and opposing mandatory installation of (more…)
Thursday, December 23rd, 2010
On Thursday, December 16th, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) was scheduled to vote on two provisions that will affect current and future solar energy projects in the Coachella Valley. That vote is still delayed, and apparently will remain so until the end of the month.
The CPUC is the regulatory arm that (more…)
Monday, November 29th, 2010
In a previous blog, I highlighted the embarrassing resignation of Pacific Gas & Electric’s manager of its SmartMeter program after it was revealed that he was eavesdropping on the online networking of grassroots activists that have been blockading the installation of smart grid infrastructure in northern California. Turns out, this was just a harbinger of things to (more…)
Monday, October 11th, 2010
On September 30, California’s Governor Schwarzenegger signed Assembly Bill 2514 into law, which sets mandatory targets for energy storage systems in the utility sector. Groups such as the California Energy Storage Alliance have been working hard to promote this bill, the first of its kind.
Energy storage is being championed as (more…)
Friday, July 23rd, 2010
Southern California Edison has had a voluntary Renewable Standard Offer Program for the past several years–a fixed-price offer to buy renewable energy from systems under 20 MW in size, with the price set at the Market Price Referent (MPR). It’s not a FIT per se, as it is not ‘must take’, but a standard fixed-price offer nonetheless.
In 2009, SCE contracted for 140 MW of PV. (more…)