While California has long been a leader in the solar space, not all Californians have been able to take part in this transition of the energy economy.
But efforts are being made to alleviate that.
According to California Watch, this month a bill will be presented to the California Assembly Committee on Utilities and Commerce to help disadvantaged communities promote and install small solar rooftop projects.
Communities with high unemployment and “bear a disproportionate burden from air pollution, disease and other impacts from the generation of electricity from the burning of fossil fuels” will be targeted first.
The bill, introduced by Assemblyman Paul Fong, proposes the state install enough systems to produce 375 MW, or the equivalent to 1,000 small-scale projects in these communities from 2014 to 2020.
The installations would be on the rooftops of apartment complexes and commercial buildings with each project producing about 500 kW. The owner of the solar panels could also earn additional revenue through a feed-in tariff that allows the owner to sell back unused energy to the electric company.
This bill could also have an added benefit of helping the entire state cut emissions during periods of peak demand.
As of now, private utilities such as San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison have not taken a position on the proposed bill.