Solar legislation opposed by utilities

By David R. Baker, San Francisco Chronicle:

California legislators are poised to vote this week on a pair of bills that would help renters and low-income communities go solar.

But the bills have encountered stiff resistance from some utility companies, which call them unnecessary and expensive.

While California homeowners have been installing solar systems on their rooftops at a rapid clip, renters don’t have that option. So one of the bills, SB843, would allow renters to buy electricity from solar systems located elsewhere.

They would sign contracts with developers sticking solar panels on warehouses, office buildings or open fields. The renters would then receive a credit on their monthly utility bill. Businesses or government agencies that lease their buildings could do the same. The bill could add as much as 2 gigawatts of solar power – roughly the equivalent of two nuclear reactors – to the state’s electricity grid… Read more

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