Tuesday, February 10, 2015 12:52 PM

Intersolar North America 2015 Highlights Solar Financing Models, Policy Developments and New Technologies in 45 Conference Sessions

CALSEIA again will play an invaluable role shaping conference programs at Intersolar North America that chart a path forward on important issues facing the industry. CALSEIA recently released its 2014 annual report highlighting successful campaigns in the last year, which include extending net metering rules, streamlining permitting guides and supporting energy storage incentives. Additionally, the report shows that California solar industry now employs 47,000 people, more than the state’s three investor-owned utilities combined. 

Intersolar North America brings together leaders from across the solar value chain, and is a critical networking event for CALSEIA. The two organizations announced at last year’s conference and exhibition the formation of a long-term agreement to strengthen solar policies in California through joint campaigns and programs.

“We achieved critical policy victories in 2014, including passing the nation’s first statewide permitting law,” said Bernadette Del Chiaro, executive director of the CALSEIA. “In partnership with Intersolar North America, we are able to draw attention to the strategic initiatives that will usher solar to the mainstream. We look forward to developing panels and programs that provide the industry with the insights needed to grow the solar market in California and beyond.”

Friday, January 30, 2015 01:48 PM

Center for Sustainable Energy Receives Grant To Expand Solar Power to Multi-tenant Properties (San Diego Metro)

The U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative has awarded $712,000 to the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) for a project aimed at eliminating barriers to greater adoption of solar electric power systems at multiple tenant commercial properties and multifamily housing.

The award is part of SunShot’s $14 million Solar Market Pathways program to develop solar deployment plans that establish business certainty and provide multiyear strategies applicable across the nation. CSE will be working with the California Solar Energy Industries Association, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council and other solar stakeholders to identify technical, regulatory and financial barriers constraining widespread solar adoption in multitenant developments.

The project’s goal is to expand use of a special utility billing arrangement, called virtual net metering, that allows the “virtual” sharing of energy generation credits from a single solar system among multiple tenant accounts with separate meters, such as apartment buildings, commercial offices and shopping malls.

“Nearly all of the residential solar energy installations in California have been made on single-family housing, yet a third of the state’s residents live in multi-unit dwellings, and in addition, there are tens of thousands of multimeter commercial facilities,” said Ben Airth, a senior manager at CSE. “The regulations that permit virtual net energy metering were put into effect in California several years ago, but for a variety of reasons both solar contractors and property owners have not taken advantage of the potential for energy and cost savings.”

Wednesday, January 28, 2015 10:00 AM

CALSEIA Issues California Net-Metering Update (Solar Industry Magazine)

Net-energy metering (NEM) has been a cornerstone of the California solar market since 1996. It allows a solar customer's meter to spin backward, giving customers credit at full retail rates when they are feeding power into the electric grid. Customers pay only for their net usage of electricity from the utility.

Under state legislation passed in 2013 (A.B.327), the current net-metering rules for solar customers will end soon. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) is reviewing the rules to determine if the new version of net metering (known as NEM 2.0) should be the same as the current structure or if changes need to be made. The commission has a deadline to create the new rules by December of this year. It issued a memo on Jan. 23 updating the scope and timeline of the proceeding.

Monday, January 26, 2015 10:00 AM

Hawaii utility seeks end to popular rooftop solar incentive; does it signal industry's future? (Environment & Energy Publishing)

As soon as the end of this month in California, there could be a draft formula for measuring costs and benefits of rooftop solar, said Brad Heavner, policy director for the California Solar Energy Industries Association. The California Public Utilities Commission last March voted to protect the current version of net energy metering for two decades for those with solar installed by July 2017. But the agency also is overseeing a rewrite of future incentives.

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