According to CleanTechnica, for the first time in the U.S., a grid operator has approved rules that allow companies to buy electricity from homes and commercial power systems and bundle it to meet the threshold required for sale on the market.
This move will enable electricity from individual rooftop systems to be shared with other utility customers across state lines as well.
The California Independent System Operator Corporation (ISO) will now permit companies to consolidate the output of rooftop solar systems, batteries and plug-in electronic devices. As the rule applies to both utilities and private companies or individuals, the shift demonstrates the importance of small-scale power sources. They are becoming a critical part of the state's energy sources.
"It paves the way for consumers to play a more active role in the generation and distribution of the energy we use every day," said solar expert Ken Munson.
Residential solar power has been the fastest growing sector of the California solar industry. It increased by 50 percent in 2014, outpacing utility-scale solar. Utility-scale only expanded by about 15 percent.
The change will completely break open the market, expanding access for distributed solar and storage. Outside of net metering, this will also be an additional source of revenue.
California's ultimate goal is to get 33 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2020 and 50 percent by 2030. Many hope this change will lead California to a more sustainable, solar-friendly setting.
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