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Useful links to solar information

This information is provided as a service only.  The Center for Climate Protection and Solar Sonoma County is not responsible for content.  Not seeing it here?  Let us know!

Community Choice Aggregation (CCA)

Clean Power Exchange (CPX) - The Center for Climate Protection's non-profit resource for Community Choice Energy roll-outs throughout California. Follow the excitement as it happens!


Sonoma Clean Power (SCP) - Sonoma County's Own!

Community Solar in California

Community Solar in California (PDF) - The Energy Policy Initiatives Center (EPIC) prepared this report that summarizes the activity related to Community Solar in California. The report, authored by EPIC staff attorney Joe Kaatz, provides an overview of:

  • community solar policies and programs in California;
  • shared solar programs developed as a result of Senate Bill (SB) 43, including a detailed discussion of the requirements for both the Enhanced Community Renewables and Green Tariff programs;
  • California’s virtual net metering programs, including the Multifamily Affordable Solar Housing (MASH) and Single-Family Affordable Solar Homes Programs (SASH);
  • California’s aggregate net metering program;
  • Renewable Energy Self-Generation Bill Credit transfer (RES-BCT) as authorized by Assembly Bill 2466; and,
  • Community Shared Solar models in other states.

This report was prepared by EPIC at the University of San Diego for the Center for Sustainable Energy to support the Golden State Solar Impact project, a statewide team funded by the Department of Energy (DOE) Solar Energy Technologies Program and the SunShot Initiative to encourage market transformation through expanding financing options for residential and commercial customers, streamlining permitting processes, and standardizing net metering and interconnection standards across investor-owned and municipally owned utilities in the region. 

Will SB 43 Promote Community Solar Gardens? (PDF) - The Local Clean Energy Alliance outlines principles of a more ideal community solar project:

  • They should be in or near an identifiable community
  • They should be owned and controlled by the community through transparent democratic decision making
  • They should be locally financed
  • They should enable participation by low-income communities
  • They should employ a local workforce (using local training programs) for development and
  • maintenance
  • They should employ land use policies that preserve agricultural land and environmentally sensitive habitat
  • They should be flexible enough (over 20 years) to allow for enhancements such as residential energy upgrades, electricity storage, smart grid, and best practices

Energy Rate Decision Tree


E6 & E7 Phaseout letter from Sonoma Clean Power (PDF) - The CPUC has scheduled the elimination of the E6 & E7 rates in a phaseout plan. Effective May 30 (changed from March 1 in the referenced document), E7 will be closed and all customer will be moved to E-TOU-A. E6 will be closed to new customers on the same date, May 30; existing E6 customers may remain on the E6 rate until 2022.

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

http://www.baaqmd.gov/?sc_itemid=F026D4AC-FE69-4FBD-9232-187E17FC428DThe Air District is pleased to announce Cycle 2 of the Charge! Program, an incentive program that offers grant funding for the installation of electric vehicle charging stations at Bay Area transportation corridors, workplaces, multi-family dwelling units (MDUs) and trip destination locations. The goal of the Charge! Program is to rapidly expand access to electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in order to accelerate the Bay Area’s adoption of EVs and ultimately to achieve the region's EV deployment goals of 110,000 EVs by 2020 and 247,000 EVs by 2025. (12/22/2015)

Feed-in Tariff (ProFIT)

https://sonomacleanpower.org/profit - So you want to go into the wholesale energy production business? Perhaps you have some land that is no longer used for agriculture, and that is not under any restrictive easement? You'd like to produce a large amount of solar energy on this land to sell the local utility at wholesale pricing? Sonoma Clean Power's 'ProFIT' feed-in tariff program is that program.

Lease & PPA vs Ownership

Buy
You want to own your solar panels.
Your federal taxes are high enough to qualify for the 30% solar investment tax credit.
You want to maximize the financial benefits of going solar.

Lease or Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)
You don’t care about owning the panels.
Your federal taxes are too low to qualify for the solar investment tax credit.
You value immediate financial savings over larger long-term savings.

PACE Financing

http://sonomacountyenergy.org/resources/pace-financing/what-is-pace-financing/ - Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) is an opportunity for property owners to finance energy efficiency, water conservation and renewable energy generation improvements through a voluntary assessment. These assessments will be attached to the property, not the owner, and will be paid back through the property tax system over time, making the program not only energy efficient but also affordable.

Ygrene Talking Points - Ygrene ('energy' spelled backwards) is one of the nation's largest privately funded lenders for energy efficiency projects

Net Energy Metering (NEM) - PG&E vs Sonoma Clean Power

https://sonomacleanpower.org/netgreen/ - Both PG&E and SCP offer Net Energy Metering (NEM) for solar, but there are some important differences in the way the programs are implemented. Sonoma Clean Power offers some key advantages.

Pathway to Better Buildings

Sonoma County Energy Independence Program (SCEIP) guide to commercial building energy efficiency (PDF)

Renewable Energy Code, Sonoma County

http://www.sonoma-county.org/prmd/docs/renewable_energy - If you are planning a large or commercial PV solar system, your first stop would be to review the Renewable Energy Code as it relates to your property and proposed use.

A standard rule of thumb is that it takes 5 acres of land for ground-mounted solar to produce one (1) MW of power. Note that the code determines how much of your land can be covered by the solar panels.

SGIP - Self-Generation Incentive Program

https://energycenter.org/programs/self-generation-incentive-program - The Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) provides financial incentives for the installation of clean and efficient distributed generation technologies. SGIP is a ratepayer-funded rebate program, overseen by the California Public Utilities Commission, and available to retail electric and gas customers of the four California investor-owned utilities (Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, Southern California Gas and San Diego Gas & Electric). CSE is the program administrator for SDG&E territory.

Understanding your PG&E Utility Bill

https://sonomacleanpower.org/billing/ - If you think your bill is difficult to understand, you are not alone!  This informative video and discussion should help.

Solar Quote Consultations by SCEIP

http://sonomacountyenergy.org/solar-consultations - The County of Sonoma offers FREE in-office consultations for those considering going solar!

Schedule your appointment: Call (707) 565-6470 or email sceip@sonoma-county.org.

The consultations are:
  • No cost
  • Completely unbiased
  • Useful to compare bids from different companies
  • Helpful at any stage in the process
  • Available for residential and commercial
You will learn about:
  • Design considerations
  • Equipment options
  • Average costs
  • Financing options
  • Utility rate impacts

Property Tax Exclusion for Solar Systems

https://energy.gov/savings/property-tax-exclusion-solar-energy-systems - Fear not!  Your new rooftop solar system will not increase you assessed property value

Solar Systems May Increase the Resale Value of Your Home

http://solarindustrymag.com/online/issues/SI1602/FEAT_02_Home-Appraisers-See-A-Premium-For-Rooftop-Solar.html - Adding rooftop solar to you home has been shown to increase resale value

How Net Energy Metering (NEM) works (graphic)

{click to enlarge)
How Net Metering Works

Heat Pump Systems

https://ventana2.sierraclub.org/compass/2017/07/what-heck-are-heat-pumps - Heat pumps are a better way to heat and cool air and water. Super efficient, and all-electric!