Under the San Diego California Solar Initiative (CSI), two-thirds of the program’s budget was initially allocated to non-residential solar projects with a corresponding target of 180 MW, amounting to $202 million.
Now, $5 million of that is being shifted to solar for homeowners by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). This shift to residential/distributed solar makes sense, and it probably should be a greater shift than that. When money is provided to the people, at least it goes to the people, unlike the alternative, which involves giving the money to companies which will then charge the people for electricity.
The people benefit most from the former option, by far. The former option also has a long-lasting financial effect, and they can enjoy electricity at no charge for 30 year.
The latter option was petitioned for months by the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE). This $5 million shift is expected to result the creation of 25 MW of generation capacity. Accordng to PV-Tech:
The CSI programme was conceived in 2006 and launched the following year, with CCSE selected by CPUC to run the programme for San Diego, making it the only CSI programme in the state of California not run by a utility company.
CCSE reached the target set for residential PV installations in January 2013, four years ahead of the scheduled 10-year period. The organisation has been involved in the implementation of approximately 75MW capacity since the start of the CSI, across around 15,000 residences. The cost of residential solar systems has almost halved since the CSI began, falling by 45%.
This, combined with Assembly Bill 327 to protect net metering, will help more residents generate their own electricity, which is the cheaper option.