Skip to: Content | Footer | Accessibility
Click for RSS Feed of PUC Website     |    Resizing Fonts

Filing a Language Access Complaint
Welcome to the California Public Utilities Commission
Skip Navigation LinksPUC > Energy > California Solar Initiative > Other Solar Technologies

Other Solar Technologies

CSI Program Application Guide for Other Solar Technologies

The CSI Program offers incentives for both photovoltaics (PV), as well as other solar electric generating technologies that either generate electricity or displace electricity usage.  Currently, other solar electric generating technologies are only eligible for production based incentives.  Incentives for other solar generation technologies that displace electricity are capped at $100.8 million.

To find out more about how other solar electric generating technologies can apply to the CSI Program, review the application guide below and contact a CSI Program Administrator.

CSI Program's Other Solar Eligible Technologies

The following other solar electric generating technologies are eligible for funding under the CSI Program, and the means for applying for incentives is included in the CSI Program Handbook.

Eligible other solar electric generating technologies and solar thermal technologies, including:

  • Fixed and tracking flat plate solar thermal collectors
  • Concentrating solar thermal (trough, dish and lens)
  • Hydronic solar heating and cooling systems
  • Solar collector technologies can be integrated with additional equipment to convert solar thermal energy to electricity or cooling.

Eligible other electric generating technologies that displace electricity must serve end-use loads. Eligible electric end-use loads eligible for displacement include:

  • Electric space conditioning (heating, cooling and dehumidification)
  • Electric industrial process heating & cooling
  • Any electric load for (solar electric generation technologies) electric generators)

Note: Solar Water Heating (SWH) technologies for domestic use is currently not eligible for CSI Program funding, except through the CSI SWH Pilot Program.

CSI Program's Technical Standards Requirements

Other solar electric generating  equipment must be safety certified by an nationally recognized testing laboratory (NRTL).

Other solar electric generating system performance parameters must be established by Solar Rating and Certification Corporation (SRCC) for flat plate collectors or Sandia National Laboratories for concentrating solar systems. (See CSI Program Handbook, section 2.2.3)

Other solar electric generating technologies have to meet additional technical requirements depending on whether they generate or displace electricity.

For other solar electric systems that generate electricity, the technologies must meet the requirements in the CSI Program Handbook, and also be listed as eligible by the California Energy Commission’s Emerging Renewables Program.

  • To inquire about the CSI application rocess, please contact your respective CSI Program Administrator
  • For information about the California Energy Commission’s listing process, contact Patrick Saxton at the California Energy Commission: / 916-651-0489.

For other solar electric systems that displace electricity, the technologies must only meet the eligibility requirements set forth in the CSI Program Handbook

Estimating Capacity and Production of Other Solar Electric Generating Technologies

Once an other solar electric generating technology is deemed eligible for the CSI Program, a number of steps must be completed before an application can be submitted.

  • For other solar electric generating technologies that generate electricity, a capacity rating must be determined.
  • For other solar electric technologies that displace electricity, a performance ratio and capacity rating must be determined.

The process for calculating these factors is included in the CSI Program Handbook, and is listed below.

Performance Ratio

The performance ratio (pr) is a conversion factor used to determine the amount of grid electricity that is displaced by the other solar electric generating technologies. The value of the performance ratio depends on the type of technologies, the end-use equipment being displaced and, if applicable, any conversion equipment used with the equipment to serve the end-use load (e.g., absorption chillers).

  • For other solar electric generating technologies , pr = 1.0.
  • For solar thermal cooling systems, pr is the minimum standard conversion efficiency of the displaced end-use equipment divided the by the conversion efficiency of the absorption system, if applicable.
  • The minimum efficiency standard for the displaced end-use electric equipment is dependent on the type and size of the conventional electric heating or cooling system being displaced. The most common equipment minimum efficiency standards can be found in the statewide standard performance contract energy efficiency program or the california appliance efficiency regulations.

System Capacity Rating

  • For other solar electric generating technologies,, the CEC-AC rating is the net electric output [kw] of the system at PTC.
  • For other solar thermal technologies,, the CEC-AC rating is the rated thermal capacity at PTC divided by the performance ratio (pr). If the solar system’s total ancillary electric load is 5% or more of the unadjusted CEC-AC rating, it must be subtracted from the unadjusted CEC-AC rating.

Note that the measurement and capacity rating methods are found in the CSI Program Handbook in the technical section.

The final step for other solar electric generating technologies is to provide the CSI Program with an annual production estimate for the system.  Other solar electric generating technologies annual electric production or electricity displaced must be estimated using performance parameters established by srcc or sandia national laboratories, and site specific typical meteorological year weather data. Acceptable models are the solar advisory model or TRNSYS. Other modeling approaches may be considered on a case by case basis by the CSI Program Administrator.  For other solar electric generating technologies that produce thermal energy to displace electricity, production estimates must also include an annual electric consumption estimate of the served end-use using engineering calculations or a model of the heating.

Contact Information

For more information on applying for CSI Program incentives for other solar technologies, contact the CSI Program Administrators.


Last Modified: 6/26/2009

Visit the CalPhoneInfo website!