The California Public Utilities Commission recently agreed to give many more Californians access to net metering credit for solar power, reports Mark Lifsher at the LA Times, allowing the state to double its targeted electricity output from rooftop solar panels from the current 2,400 MW to about 5,200 MW. That’s enough new electricity to power about 2.1 million homes. The commission made a technical change in how it calculates how many electricity ratepayers can participate in its net metering program, dramatically increasing the participation limit. The program allows solar users to lower their electricity bills by getting credit for excess power sent back to the grid. Proponents said this would ensure that California would remain the nation’s leader in solar power, a state industry that employs more than 25,000 workers, has raised more than $10 billion in private investment, and saved taxpayers from building 2 natural gas plants.
Putting more panels on homes and other buildings will save money, reduce dependence on fossil fuels and help meet California’s goal to generate at least a third of its power from solar, wind and other renewable sources by 2020, proponents said.
May 25, 2012, Utility regulators more than double California’s solar power goal