Posted by: jbarnesca | December 14, 2009

California New Distributed Solar Programs for 2010

There are new programs for distributed solar in California for 2010 that considerably change the landscape for new projects going into 2010.  In particular the independent power producer programs for the big three utilities, SCE,PG&E, and SDG&E along with the new SB 32 FIT program and the approved California Public Utilities FIT program.

This table shows some basics for these programs.

Utility                                                    Program Name                                      Expected PPA rate, comments

SCE, PG&E, SDG&E Yearly RPS solicitations.   No interest or time for <50MWp programs from the past Maximum PPA price at the MPR table. Some money for overages each year. Deals made in the $0.11-$0.13/kWh range from the past reported
SCE 500MW solar program 250 MW owned by SCE with price recovery at $0.26/kWh, their stated LCOE in application to CPUC.  250 MW over 5 years for IPP bids.  Must in general be <2MWp and on roofs. 250 IPP max payment over the year at $0.26/kWh; however application is going to allow a reverse auction process for the bids and a very stringent “project viability calculator” to eliminate small players.
SDG&E 50MW solar program Small 50MW total allowed for IPP bids. Next program to be approved in Dec/Jan 09. ? since it is third in the approval process. Large farms allowed, but total 5 yr. program size too small to matter
PG&E 500MW solar program 250MW for IPP bids.  Plants from 1.5-10MWp possible.  PG&E recovery allowed at $0.24.5/kWh times TOU schedule.  More than SCE payment.  Program expected to be operative for plants at the end of 2010 in CA. PG&E proposed reverse auction to follow the final ruling of the SCE program.  Lots of filings underway to respond to this proposal at present.
SCE, PG&E,SDG&E, other regulated Utilities in California CPUC FIT program approved in 2009, but not finalized as yet. CPUC proposed a “reverse auction process”.  No guarantee of PPA price
SCE, PG&E,SDG&E, other regulated Utilities in California SB 32 FIT rate program.  This program for 2010 is new with a 1-3MW range Market Price Referral Table plus attributes for green.  Est. $0.13/kWh


Through the work with the FIT coalition, CA SEIA and other interested lobbying groups and CPUC contacts, I am actively involved and see the current filings and notices for these new programs.  This allows me to know how the bidding for these programs will progress and to see how best to place bids for the 2010 time frame.



  1. This chart is key in ascertaining what can be available in CA. CA certainly is behind w.r.t. the many european countries that have embraced and are developing Solar much quicker.

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