The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has declared the California Solar Initiative (CSI) a success having reached the 1GW milestone.
With a goal of 1,940MW of installed power by the end of 2016, CPUC states that California has installed enough solar capacity to power 100,000 homes and businesses and avoid building two conventional power plants. The CSI has a budget of US$2.4 billion over 10 years.
The CSI has exceeded expectations of think-tanks like SunCentric which had in 2011 predicted that the CSI would not even hit the 800MW mark.
At the end of 2012, the programme had installed 1,066MW in its general market and affordable housing photovoltaic programs, helping to reach 55% of the 1,940MW goal, with an additional 332MW (17% of the total goal) in pending projects.
The CSI rebates decrease over time to help create a self-sustaining solar industry. In most parts of the state the rebates are up to 92% lower than they were at the start of the program in 2007, but CPUC states that participation in the programme continues to increase year over year.
The CSI’s Single-family Affordable Homes (SASH) programme has installed solar systems on more than 2,000 low income homes throughout the state, while the Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing (MASH) programme has installed more than 17MW of solar on affordable housing residences, with another 12MW in pending applications.