Solar Program Reaches Goal a Year Early

A key state solar initiative has been so successful that it has met its intended target for solar installations one year early.

The California Solar Initiative (CSI)’s General Market Program, administered by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), is part of an effort to install ratepayer-funded new solar energy systems over the next decade while transforming the market for solar energy by reducing the cost of generation equipment.

The CSI’s recently released annual report showed that as of December 31, 2015 the program had spurred the installation of 1,753 megawatts (MW) of customer-sited solar with another 139 MW pending. That amount surpasses the program’s goal to install 1,750 megawatts by 2017.

Customer solar installations continued to increase in 2015, and did so largely without rebate incentives, according to the report. That finding demonstrates that the program has substantially achieved its objective to stimulate the widespread adoption of solar energy and suggests the creation of a self-sustaining market.

Between the last quarter of 2008 and the last quarter of 2014, the average cost of installed residential systems decreased 53 percent from $10.87 per watt to $5.14 per watt. The average cost of installed non-residential solar systems declined 62 percent from $10.30 per watt to $3.93 per watt, according to the report.

The California Energy Commission participates in the CSI through the New Solar Homes Partnership, an award-winning rebate program to install solar in new homes. That program has seen 57,150 solar systems installed in new homes as of May, with 169 MW of power generated, according to a recent Energy Commission report.

More about the CSI General Market Program reaching its goal early can be found  here.

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The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency created by the Legislature in 1974.
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