Friday, July 07, 2006

California Solar Initiative Update: SB 1 Passes California Assembly With Strong Support

Last week, California took one step closer to locking in the California Solar Initiative (aka the 'Million Solar Roofs Initiative'), the nation's largest, comprehensive and long-term solar program when the California Assembly passed SB 1 late last Friday.

The Assembly approved SB1 by a vote of 43 to 15, according to RenewableEnergyAccess.com. SB 1 introduced by Senator Murray, provides a long-term commitment and over $3.35 billion in funding to leverage private investment to deploy an impressive 3,000 megawatts (MW) of solar power systems on residential, commercial and government buildings throughout the state.

SB 1 will now return to the Senate Energy Committee for concurrence of the Assembly amendments when the legislature returns from recess August 7, 2006.

This bill complements the Public Utilities Commission's CSI decision earlier this year by raising the net metering cap, requiring the municipal utilities to have a complimentary program and tying incentives to system performance. There was no major opposition to this bill, which represents significant progress from last year when SB1 faltered twice in the state legislature. Leadership from Governor Schwarzenegger, the Public Utilities Commission and California Energy Commission, was commended by Americans for Solar Power (ASPv).

Jan McFarland, ASPv Executive Director, said, "Senator Kevin Murray and his staff have worked tirelessly for the past three years to get a comprehensive solar bill out of the Assembly. It is to Senator Murray's credit that there was no major opposition to SB 1 today. Assembly backing demonstrates that solar power enjoys broad public and political support."

[A hat tip to RenewableEnergyAccess.com]

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