Grid-tie Solar, Solar Subsidy, State Incentives, Tax Credits

Northern California receives first solar incentives

There’s never been a better time to invest in solar energy systems in Northern California. Pacific Power will join the state’s effort to promote growth and sustainability of the solar industry with the inception of its California Solar Incentive Program.  Residents in Del Norte, Modoc, Shasta, and Siskiyou counties will enjoy  an up-front rebate for grid-interconnected photovoltaic systems based on estimated performance calculations.  With an operating budget of $4.3 million and a four year timeline, Pacific Power’s goals include the addition of 3.5 megawatts of new PV generation capacity.

Eligibility is open to residential, commercial, industrial, government, and irrigation customers.  The solar electric installation must be grid interconnected and at least 1 Kilowatt CEC-AC (California Energy Commission rating).  The incentive structure is divided into seven steps based on the targeted amount of kW production.

The average home installation will receive up to $2.00 per watt of the total installed cost. This is about one quarter of the cost, considering that the typical grid interconnected photovoltaic system runs about $8.00 per watt installed.  So after factoring in Federal Tax incentives along with Pacific Power’s California Solar Incentive Program, the average customer can have up to 50% of the installed cost of their solar electric system paid for by Uncle Sam.

Prior to receiving the incentives, an energy efficiency audit is required for all existing residential and commercial buildings.  This can be accomplished by customers via the Home Energy Saver online tool found at:  https://hes.lbl.gov/consumer/.  Larger buildings may have to acquire the services of a qualified third party inspector to fulfill the energy audit requirement.

Siskiyou and Del Norte county residents can attend a workshop help by Pacific Power that aims to introduce customers and contractors to the program.  Customers who can’t make it to the scheduled meetings can opt to attend the workshop through an online webinar.  https://www.pacificpower.net/env/nmcg/csip/csipw.html.