In the past few years traditional utility companies and solar companies have fought over policies that seek to compensate rooftop solar systems through providing power back to the California energy grid, reports GreenTech Media. However, in recent months, these same foes have united to influence the bill, S.B. 350, which is set to broaden the state's present renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to 50 percent by 2030. This extension far exceeds the original target of 33 percent by 2020.
Currently, rooftop solar is not specially included in this RPS target, so these two unlikely allies are advocating for it to. Right now, utilities can purchase small percentages of rooftop solar power through renewable energy certificates, according to E & E Publishing. Through counting rooftop solar along with large-scale solar power plants, utilities would be able to buy less from large facilities.
Furthermore, including rooftop solar towards the target would also allow for utilities to potentially give solar panel system owners more in regards to net metering. Discussion and accepting of proposals outlining how much that would be are currently underway in the California Public Utilities Commission.
"The bill, which passed the state Senate last month, is expected to come before the Assembly Appropriations Committee in September, when the Legislature reconvenes," E & E Publishing writes. "This year is the first in a two-year legislative session, so the bill doesn't have to become law this year — but it could, observers said."
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