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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Docket #: R.04-03-017

Media Contact: Terrie Prosper, 415.703.1366, news@cpuc.ca.gov


SAN FRANCISCO, December 15, 2005 - The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in its ongoing efforts to promote renewable power, today increased funding by $300 million for solar photovoltaic technologies.

This is the first step in jumpstarting the Commission's implementation of what was originally called the Governor's Million Solar Roofs Initiative, which is now called the California Solar Initiative. The Commission has consistently expressed support for solar, other renewable resources, and clean distributed generation as environmentally sound technologies for assuring reliable electricity supply for California.

Today, in recognition of the benefits of solar technologies as a viable energy resource alternative to traditional energy technologies, the Commission increased funding for solar technologies that are currently part of the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP).

Today's decision also reduced the rebate level for solar photovoltaics from $3.50 per watt to $2.80 per watt of installed capacity. The new rebate level will be for new projects that sign up for funding in 2006. For projects already on the waiting list, the rebate level will be $3 per watt, which corresponds to the previously-announced reduction in the rebate level that would have automatically gone into effect in January without today's decision. The Commission found it prudent to reduce the rebate level for new projects because evidence shows that there is plenty of interest in pursuing solar installation even at the reduced rebate level. Reducing the rebate level allows the Commission to stretch limited program funding to as many projects as possible.

At the Commission's Jan. 12 meeting, the full ten-year California Solar Initiative funding and framework will be considered. The proposal is on the Commission's website at: http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/static/energy/051214_solarincentive.htm.

For more information on the PUC, please visit www.cpuc.ca.gov.


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