California Assembly Approves SB 1

California is now one step closer to locking in the California Solar Initiative, the nation’s largest, comprehensive and long-term solar program following the California Assembly for passing SB 1 late yesterday.

The Assembly approved SB1 by a vote of 43 to 15. SB 1 introduced by Senator Murray, provides a long-term commitment and over $3.35 billion in funding to leverage private investment to deploy 3000 megawatts (MW) of solar power systems on residential, commercial and government buildings throughout the state. SB 1 will return to the Senate Energy Committee for concurrence of the Assembly amendments when the legislature returns from recess August 7, 2006. This bill complements the Public Utilities Commission’s recent CSI decision by raising the net metering cap, requiring the municipal utilities to have a complimentary program and tying incentives to system performance. There was no major opposition to this bill, which represents significant progress from last year. Leadership from Governor Schwarzenegger, the Public Utilities Commission and California Energy Commission, was commended by Americans for Solar Power (ASPv). Jan McFarland, ASPv Executive Director, said, “Senator Kevin Murray and his staff have worked tirelessly for the past three years to get a comprehensive solar bill out of the Assembly. It is to Senator Murray’s credit that there was no major opposition to SB 1 today. Assembly backing demonstrates that solar power enjoys broad public and political support.”
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