US: California installs over 1 GW of customer-generated solar

Share

In its 2012 California Solar Initiative (CSI) Annual Program Assessment, the CPUC found that 1.25 GW of solar has been installed across 122,516 sites* in publicly-owned utility (POU) areas. Under the CSI program specifically, 97 MW are said to have been added in the first quarter of 2012, out of a total of 148.4 MW of newly-installed solar capacity in California.

In comparison, in 2011, 311 MW were installed in POU areas, thus representing a growth of 60 percent from 2010. Of this, a "record" 261 MW were installed through the CSI. In the recently released assessment, the authors wrote, "In 2012, the CSI Program has seen an increase in applications compared with the corresponding period of 2011 … There have been over 8,000 applications for new solar projects, with a total capacity of 94 MW received between January and April, 2012."

The CSI is a solar rebate program for California’s investor-owned utilities, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). With a budget of $2.4 billion, its goal is to install 1.94 GW of solar (systems up to one MW in size) by the end of 2016. Based on the current rate of activity, predictions are that it will reach its own one GW milestone by the end of the year.

Leading the program’s way is utility PG&E, which has installed a total of 479 MW of solar. The table below shows the three utilities’ solar progress.

Customer class

Installed

Pending

Remaining

Goal

SCE

Non-residential (MW)

180

101

258

540

Residential (MW)

109

33

123

266

PG&E

Non-residential (MW)

279

154

80

514

Residential (MW)

180

27

45

252

SDG&E

Non-residential (MW)

47

26

49

120

Residential (MW)

44

7

8

59

CSI Progress Towards Program Goal of 1,750 MW. Source: CPUC

In terms of average installed costs per Watt, costs for systems under 10 kW are said to have fallen 28 percent since 2007, from $10.69 to US$7.75. Meanwhile, for systems over 10 kW, costs have dropped to $6.83, from $9.36.

Furthermore, CPUC says that CSI projects in low income markets, where median incomes are $50,000, have increased by 364 percent since 2007, and projects in middle income markets, where incomes are between $50,000 and $100,000, have increased by 445 percent since 2007. The latter group was said to comprise the majority of applications received in 2011.

The CSI program is composed of different elements. Below is an overview:

Program component

Budget (US$ millions)

Goal

General Market Solar Program (includes PV and electric displacing solar thermal technologies)

$1,897

1,750 MW

Single-family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH)

$108

95 MW *

Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing (MASH)

$108

95 MW *

Research, Development, Demonstration, and Deployment (RD&D)

$50

Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.

Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. Any other transfer to third parties will not take place unless this is justified on the basis of applicable data protection regulations or if pv magazine is legally obliged to do so.

You may revoke this consent at any time with effect for the future, in which case your personal data will be deleted immediately. Otherwise, your data will be deleted if pv magazine has processed your request or the purpose of data storage is fulfilled.

Further information on data privacy can be found in our Data Protection Policy.

This website uses cookies to anonymously count visitor numbers. View our privacy policy.

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close