The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has injected a further US$200 million into the California Solar Initiative (CSI) programme to help cover a budget shortfall.
The budget increase was authorised through Senate Bill (SB) 585, signed by Governor Brown on September 22, and will see US$114 million handed out to Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), US$64 million to Southern California Edison (SCE) and US$22 million to San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). The funds will help re-invigorate non-residential solar activity and the utilities to reach the capacity targets set for them by the CPUC at the start of the CSI programme.
The CSI was launched in 2006, under the remit of installing 1.9GW and establishing a solar sector that was not reliant on subsidies by 2016. To date, 661MW has been installed – a further 320MW is in the pipeline – but with funds running out the CPUC has been prompted into making budgetary adjustments.
“I’d like to thank Senator Christine Kehoe for authoring SB 585, which gave us the authority to add US$200 million to the CSI incentive budget,” CPUC President Michael Peevey said. “California’s endeavour to expand the use of solar as an alternative source of energy has been so successful that, over the course of the California Solar Initiative’s five year existence, the CPUC has had to make budgetary adjustments on numerous occasions. Today’s adjustment is just another testament to the continually growing interest in solar across the state.”