CPUC updates California solar progress

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) said July 2 that Californians continue to harness the power of the sun, in part through the assistance of the California Solar Initiative, which helped customers install 620 megawatts (MW) of power in 2013, a growth of 73 percent over 2012.

In its 2014 Annual Program Assessment report issued this week, the CPUC said that through the end of the first quarter of 2014, an estimated 2,139 MW of solar capacity was installed on the customer side of the meter at 227,141 customer sites in the large investor-owned utility service territories. Of that, the California Solar Initiative General Market Program has installed 1,455 MW, or 83 percent, of its 1,750 MW program goal, with another 225 MW, or 13 percent of the goal, reserved in pending projects.

In January 2007, California began an unprecedented $3.3 billion effort to install 3,000 MW of new solar over the next decade and transform the market for solar energy by reducing the cost of solar generating equipment. The CPUC’s portion of the solar effort is known as the California Solar Initiative. It is the largest customer-side solar rebate program in the country, with a $2.2 billion budget and a goal of 1,940 MW of solar capacity by the end of 2016 for the general market and low income solar programs.