Community Shared Solar Moves Forward in California!

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California took a major step toward solar access for all yesterday when the Community Shared Solar Bill passed the critical Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee with an 10-2 vote. SB 843 now advances to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Help it across the finish line by sending an email of support to your Assembly Member!

SB 843 builds upon the success of other solar energy policies by giving Californians a new way to go solar. From a customer perspective, it would work much like a CSA for produce: you’re not the farmer, you’re simply buying locally grown fruits and vegetables through a monthly subscription. Under SB 843, a customer of the state’s major utilities – PG&E, SCE or SDG&E – could opt to participate in a shared solar system via their utility; get monthly credit on their utility bill for their “share” of the solar production; and even opt out after choosing to participate. It means renters, businesses that lease space, people with shaded roofs, customers with low credit scores could all participate in California’s growing solar market for the first time. Pretty exciting stuff.

Plus, SB 843 would create jobs for folks in communities across the state – 12,000 of them. In very real terms, SB 843 would be the job creation equivalent of one of California’s largest employers, putting more people to work in the state than Cisco or Applied Materials. By simply enabling more Californians to invest in and receive the benefits of renewable energy systems, the state can unleash tremendous economic activity without using any precious state funds.

“Today SB 843 took an important step closer to giving millions of Californian residents, businesses, schools, and public agencies the opportunity to utilize clean, renewable energy for the first time,” said Senator Wolk, who has worked to increase consumer access to renewable energy throughout her time in the State Legislature. “Community shared renewables would encourage more investment and create local jobs in an important sector of our state’s economy, all without spending any state funds. I look forward to continuing to work closely with stakeholders and my colleagues in both houses to pass a bill that’s a win-win for California.”

Us too Senator! We’ll continue to work on the program, ensuring that it creates opportunities for developers and customers alike. Join Vote Solar, the coalition, and community members across the state to celebrate this important step toward bringing community shared solar to Californians!

Vote Solar is a non-profit grassroots organization working to fight climate change and foster economic opportunity by bringing solar energy into the mainstream.

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.