The California Solar Initiative (CSI), a program intended to spur widespread adoption of solar energy throughout the state, has led to massive growth in the industry. A report released in June 2013 by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) stated that rooftop solar installations rose 26 percent in 2012, as California homes added 391 megawatts (MW) of generating capacity. What makes this number remarkable is that it doesn't include Los Angeles solar panels and other cities that are run by municipal electric companies, as CSI only applies to investor-owned utilities.
As of the end of the first quarter of 2013, the state has a total installed capacity of 1,629 MW of grid-tied solar energy "on the customer side of the meter", meaning rooftop systems on homes and businesses. This does not include utility-scale projects like the recently completed California Valley Solar Ranch in San Luis Obispo County. The stated goal of the CSI in 2007 was to add 1,940 MW of solar generating capacity by the end of 2016.
Most of the funding for CSI has been taken, with the program having met 66 percent of its installation goals while another 19 percent of the goal is slated to be met with projects in development or under construction. What remains to be seen is whether the California legislature will extend additional funding to the program to encourage more solar power, as the state is hardly at its full capacity.
Even without the rate-payer funded CSI, there are still plenty of tax incentives and a federal renewable energy credit available to Southern Californians who want to make the switch to solar. For more information, contact AMECO Solar at (888) 595-9570 and speak to one of our solar energy experts.