Community Solar, DER, Utility Integration

Southern California Edison starts community solar program for customers

This week, Southern California Edison announced that it has signed on the first developer, SharedSolarCA, to its Community Renewables Program that will allow residential and business customers to take advantage of solar energy without having to install it directly on their roofs or facilities.

It’s a fairly straightforward process but a bit unlike other community solar programs in other states in which customers purchase a portion of an existing solar farm’s solar capacity (in kilowatts) in their communities and then receive a bill credit for the output of the farm based on how much electricity their share of the array produces in any given month.

With the SCE program, customers sign up with SharedSolarCA to receive solar energy in kilowatt-hour blocks based on their electricity use and customers receive a bill from SharedSolarCA for the portion of solar energy they signed up to take. SharedSolarCA provides that information to SCE so SCE can give the customer a credit on their bill. The credit is based on the portion of the project’s solar energy output that the customer has purchased.

SharedSolarCA has two solar projects, each 3-MW in capacity that will be providing solar to customers through the SCE program, once they have been constructed. One is located in Lancaster, California and the other, Sheep Creek Road, is in El Mirage.  SCE is the offtaker via PPA for all of the output of each solar farm. Sheep Creek is in the “late stage of development” according to SharedSolarCA and the Lancaster facility is scheduled to being operation in the third quarter of this year.

Customers who enroll will start to receive a SCE bill credit within 60 days of enrollment. If they enroll before the facility is operational, the credit will be applied once the facility begins to generate solar energy.

 Renewable energy purchased through the Community Renewables Program is Green-e Energy certified, meaning that it meets the environmental and consumer protection standards set forth by the nonprofit Center for Resource Solutions.