San Francisco, United States [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), has approved a 500-megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic program that was put forward by Southern California Edison last year. The program will result in the deployment solar photovoltaic systems on existing commercial rooftops in Edison’s service territory.
Edison will own, install, operate and maintain 250 MW of solar PV projects, which will primarily consist of 1-2 two MW rooftop systems. The remaining 250 MW will be installed, owned, and operated by independent, non-utility solar providers selected through a competitive process.
Prior to the decision by the CPUC, utility solar programs in this range had limited participation in the California Solar Initiative or Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS) program. Edison’s program creates a new avenue for developing such smaller sized solar projects.
“This decision is a major step forward in diversifying the mix of renewable resources in California and spurring the development of a new market niche for large scale rooftop solar applications. Unlike other generation resources, these projects can get built quickly and without the need for expensive new transmission lines,” said Commissioner John A. Bohn, author of the decision. “By authorizing both utility-owned and private development of these projects we hope to get the best from both types of ownership structures, promoting competition as well as fostering the rapid development of this nascent market.”