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The California Solar Initiative program has substantially achieved its objective of stimulating widespread adoption of solar energy and creating a self-sustaining market! 

The program, which closed to new applications on December 31, 2016, achieved installation of 1,750 megawatts (MW) of customer-sited solar capacity by the program’s end, installing 1,837 megawatts (MW), with another 94 MW reserved in pending projects. 

Further, customer-sited solar installations increased by 22 percent in 2016, largely without incentive rebates. In 2016 in the large investor-owned utility territories, 99 percent of customer-sited solar projects were interconnected through the Net Energy Metering (NEM) tariff without participating in the California Solar Initiative program.  

In its new 2017 Annual Program Assessment, the CPUC reports that:

       Through the end of 2016, an estimated 5,036 MW of solar capacity were installed at 606,185 customer sites in Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) territories.

       In 2016, 1,228 MW were installed in PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E territories, 22 percent more than was installed in 2015.

Other California Solar Initiative program highlights include: 

       The California Solar Initiative Single-Family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) program, which provides solar incentives on qualifying affordable single-family housing, has completed a total of 6,284 projects, representing 19.1 MW of installed capacity on eligible homes. There are an additional 357 SASH projects in progress, with a total capacity of more than 1.2 MW.  

       The CSI Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing (MASH) program, which provides solar incentives on qualifying affordable housing multifamily dwellings, has completed 403 projects, representing 31.6 MW of installed capacity.  There are an additional 221 MASH projects in progress or under review, with a total capacity of 29.7 MW.

       Through the end of 2016, the California Solar Initiative Thermal program, which promotes solar water heating through a program of direct financial incentives to retail customers, approved 4,826 applications for $67.3 million in incentives of the available $205 million California Solar Initiative Thermal incentive budget.   

       The California Solar Initiative Research, Development, Demonstration and Deployment program has conducted five project solicitations since its inception, resulting in grant funding for 37 projects, totaling $41.2 million. Funded projects have focused on the following areas: integration of solar photovoltaics into the electricity grid, energy generation technologies and business development, and grid integration and production technologies.

Read more in our June 2017 California Solar Initiative Annual Program Assessment.


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