Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica
Image Credit: California Shared Renewables

Clean Power

California Passes 600MW Shared Renewables Program

California’s state legislature has passed the landmark 600MW “shared renewables” bill that will open up access to clean energy to millions of residents who can’t install their own renewables – with no state subsidy and no extra ratepayer costs.

Just when it seemed like the outlook for renewables in California couldn’t get any brighter, the state legislature has passed a bill that will open up access to the 75% of its residents unable to install clean energy on their property.

SB 43, also known as the “shared renewables” bill, passed the State Assembly and Senate yesterday, and now heads to Governor Jerry Brown for signature into law.

The bill immediately creates the largest shared renewables program in the US and could supercharge California’s clean energy economy – all without any state subsidies or extra costs to non-participating residents.

Shared Renewables

Shared renewables image via California Shared Renewables

New Access To Renewables For Millions Of Residents

California’s Green Tariff Shared Renewables Program, as the shared renewables program is officially called, allows any customer of the state’s three largest utilities to purchase up to 100% renewable electricity for their home or businesses. Cumulative investments will be capped at 600 megawatts (MW) and the program will sunset in 2019.

For context, California installed 521MW of solar during the second quarter of 2013 – an all-time record for any one state in a three-month period. Considering any new renewables capacity created by the shared renewables program would be in addition to the state’s 33% renewable portfolio standard, this could theoretically push the state’s annual solar installation record further than ever before.

Buying renewable power on the electricity market isn’t a new idea, but California’s shared renewables program and the customers it would reach bring a few new twists to the scene. To start, the program targets people without property suitable to install clean energy systems – renters, business owners who lease offices, those with shaded roofs, people in homeowner associations, and so on.

“SB 43 will allow the millions of Californians who cannot install their own solar unit, windmill, or other renewable power generation system to obtain renewable energy through their utility,” said State Senator Lois Wolk, who sponsored the legislation.

Consumers from Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), and Southern California Edison (SCE) will be able invest in renewable energy by buying shares of the electricity generated by new projects up to 20MW in size, at a locked-in price that’s added to their existing electricity bill as a credit.

Shared Renewables Benefit All – Even Big Utilities

Since the subscription price includes a credit to the utility for grid use, any increased transmission and distribution costs aren’t spread to other ratepayers who may not be participating in shared renewables investments. And, the program avoids the fight over net metering because utilities aren’t worried about paying ratepayers back for power they generate but don’t use themselves.

California shared renewables

Shared renewables graphic via California Shared Renewables

While the program is capped at 600MW total, 100MW of that total must be reserved for residential consumers ,and 100MW of new renewable energy projects less than 1MW in size must be built in disadvantaged communities – two provisions that generated a diverse band of support as the bill wound its way through the legislature.

Advocacy organization Vote Solar estimates the bill will create around 6,000 new green jobs, allow 20,000 residential ratepayers to participate, and generate over $2.2 billion in economic activity within just a few years.

California added more than 9,000 green jobs in second quarter of 2013, so while the state didn’t need any help holding onto its lead as the epicenter of America’s clean tech market, shared renewables could cement that status for years to come.

 
 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

New Podcast: Cruise Talks Autonomous Driving Tech, Regulations, & Auto Design

New Podcast: Battery Mineral Mining Policies & Regional Trends

Written By

Silvio is Principal at Marcacci Communications, a full-service clean energy and climate policy public relations company based in Oakland, CA.

Comments

#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.

 

Support our work today!

Advertisement

Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports

Advertisement

EV Sales Charts, Graphs, & Stats

Advertisement

Our Electric Car Driver Report

30 Electric Car Benefits

Tesla Model 3 Video

Renewable Energy 101 In Depth

solar power facts

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like

Cars

Courtesy of Union Of Concerned Scientists. By Dave Cooke, Senior vehicles analyst, Clean Vehicles Program The White House is getting ready to release the next round...

Clean Transport

Originally published on the NRDC Expert Blog. By Miles Muller  San Diego Gas & Electric will deploy roughly 2,000 new electric vehicle charging stations at...

Cars

Originally published on EV Annex. The U.S. lags behind China and Europe in the transition from internal combustion engine to battery-powered cars. There are...

Clean Transport

In the market for an ambulance? How about an electric one!

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.