California could make clean energy history

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Great news keeps coming in about shared renewables in California. On Monday, one of the bills we’ve been following, SB 43, passed a major hurdle when the Assembly’s Utilities and Commerce Committee approved it in a vote of 11-1.

To gain support from disparate interests, including the major utilities, the bill continues to be amended. But it’s kept some important features, like carve-outs for residential customers and environmental justice communities. And it still represents a significant step forward for shared renewable energy in California.

The companion bill originating in the Assembly, AB 1014, has been extended to a two-year bill to simplify the legislation for this year. SB 43 has incorporated some aspects of that bill.

For details, check out Vote Solar’s description of the main features of SB 43

Something to watch for: There are concerns about another bill coming from Southern California Edison, AB 1295. That bill’s language is apparently somewhat vague, but it seems to compete with parts of SB 43, and it contains no carve-outs for residential or environmental justice customers. The bill could post a threat to SB 43, which Vote Solar and other advocates consider the better piece of legislation.

The California Legislature will be on recess through most of July — so all will be quiet on the Western Front till around mid-August. We’ll continue to keep you posted on developments, and as always, Vote Solar and the the California Shared Renewables site are good sources of information on this legislation.