The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Low-Income Rooftop Solar Program Helping Hundreds of California Families

In June 2012, the Sunrise Powerlink, a 117-mile, 500-kilovolt transmission line, was completed after years of review, permitting processes and controversies. San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) developed the line to facilitate the development and generation of renewable energy in the Imperial Valley, California’s southwest desert, and to bring power to the San Diego region.

Despite its controversies, the Sunrise Powerlink currently carries 872 megawatts of electricity “100 percent generated by renewable energy such as solar and wind physically located in California,” said James Avery, Senior Vice President of Power Supply for SDG&E.

While the transmission line carries megawatts of clean energy, many are unaware that it also plays a key role in a solar rooftop program for low-income families. 

In 2009, SDG&E and Citizens Sunrise Transmission LLC, a subsidiary of Citizens Energy, reached a development and coordination agreement (DCA) on a joint participation in the Sunrise Powerlink project. Under the agreement, Citizens would lease 50 percent of the capability of the Sunrise Powerlink from the Imperial Valley substation to the Imperial County/San Diego Country link (known as the Boarder-East Transmission line) for a term of 30 years. 

The deal was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The California Independent System Operator Corporation (ISO) also approved for Citizens become an ISO participating transmission owner. Citizens prepaid a lease amount of $85 million to SDG&E to supply the capital to develop the transmission line. 

As part of the deal, Citizens would develop programs to serve low-income families by reinvesting at least 50 percent of its after-tax profits from the transmission revenue over the Sunrise Powerlink into the Imperial Valley community where the unemployment rate is among the highest in the country. 

Citizens Energy conducted a survey at the community, which revealed that there was a need of an energy assisting program to alleviate the heavy burden created by high electricity bills to run air-conditioners where temperatures can climb as high as 120 degrees Fahrenheit. “Some low-income families cannot afford air conditioning,” said Brian O’Connor, Communications Director for Citizens Energy.

To help struggling homeowners in the Valley, Citizens Energy provides “free” solar systems that would reduce homeowners’ electricity costs by 40 to 50 percent. The organization purchases, installs and maintains each solar photovoltaic system with no cost to homeowners. In other words, it provides a free 20-year solar lease with a parts and maintenance warranty. Furthermore, Citizens Energy hopes to use local labor for installation as much as possible.

The program is currently available to homeowners in Imperial County where the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) provides electric power. IID is the third largest public power utility in California, serving over 145,000 customers. All solar systems provided by Citizens Energy will be inspected and interconnected to the grid provided by IID.

The Citizens' program has the potential to become quite sizable. With the proceeds from the Sunrise Powerlink, Citizens Energy plans to provide more than 100 solar systems a year in the Imperial Valley. Established in 2013, it will be available until the end of 2042 or for 30 years, the length that the agreement over the transmission line with SDG&E lasts.

Lead image: Solar system provided at the Imperial Valley. Credit: Citizens Energy.

Untitled Document

RELATED ARTICLES

Sunrise in Pakistan as the Country Delves into Solar PV

Robert Harker Pakistan has joined the list of countries that are exploring solar power as a means to bridge critical energy generat...

Global Renewable Energy Roundup: China, Kenya, Turkey, India Seeking More Renewables

Bloomberg News Editors China is being encouraged by three industry groups to double the nation’s solar-power goal for 2020 to make up for sh...

Why Smarter Grids Demand Smarter Communications Networks

Mark Madden

Historically, utility networks and communications networks have had little in common.

The Importance of “Switching Costs” to the US Residential Solar Industry

Paula Mints The DoE and numerous organizations and governments globally are focused on driving down the cost of solar convinced t...

PRESS RELEASES

20 days to GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo

The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) has announced that it is only 20 days to go to t...

AWS Truepower Announces Major Expansion of its Due Diligence Team in Response to Growing Market Demand

AWS Truepower, an international leader in wind and solar energy consulting and engineer...

Array Technologies’ DuraTrack HZ v3 Continues to (R)evolutionize at SPI

Array Technologies, Inc. (ATI) prepares to showcase its recently launched tracking syst...

Appalachian's Energy Center assists counties with landfill gas to energy projects

The Appalachian Energy Center at Appalachian State University recently completed a proj...

FEATURED BLOGS

How To Get People To Do Stuff

It’s no secret that psychology and sales go hand in hand. If you understand the principles of human psychology ...

Get In The Groove

When we talk about strategies for boosting productivity, we often overlook the fact certain projects lend themselves ...

Transitioning to Net-Zero Living

Judith and Jeffrey adore living in Belfast, Maine – a quaint harbor town of Belfast, Maine. They previously res...

The True Cost of Electric Vehicles in Australia

In order to avoid increased congestion, further greenhouse warming and lessen Australia’s reliance on imported ...

FINANCIAL NEWS

Junko Movellan is a Solar Industry expert who writes and analyzes the US and Japan PV downstream markets. She has more than 15 years of experience in the PV industry, analyzing industry trends and developing business strategies for global companie...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Intersolar North America 2016

Exhibition: July 12 - 14, 2016; Conference: July 11 - 13, 2016 Intersola...

Intersolar South America 2015

Exhibition and Conference: September 1-3, 2015 Intersolar South America ...

Intersolar Europe 2016

Exhibition: June 22-24, 2016; Conference: June 21-22, 2016 Intersolar Eu...

COMPANY BLOGS

Less Is More

When you’re giving a presentation, one of the easiest things to do...

Captivology

One of the biggest challenges we face as efficiency sales professionals ...

How To Optimize Your Meeting Schedule

Do you spend more time in meetings than you do actually working? While m...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS