Approximately half of U.S. households and businesses are unable to install private solar systems due to space limitations or insufficient sun exposure. To combat this, earlier this year, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) launched its Solar Choice program to extend the option for solar power to customers regardless of their location or ability to physically install private solar systems. The program allows residential and business customers to enroll with PG&E to support the development of new solar projects located within Northern and Central California. But wait, there is more. Starting now, PG&E customers have another clean energy option, and PG&E has announced a call for proposals for renewable energy developers to build projects for this program.
The new Regional Renewable Choice program will expand renewable energy access by enabling customers to work directly with developers of new renewable projects. Through the program, customers will have the option to work with developers and subscribe to the output from a new renewable project equaling between 25 and 100 percent of their electricity use. Participating customers will pay the developers for the new energy directly, and receive a bill credit from PG&E on their monthly energy statement.
PG&E is seeking proposals from local renewable energy developers across Northern and Central California to build small- and mid-sized renewable projects ranging from 0.5 to 20 MW for the Regional Renewable Choice program. The energy for these new projects can be from renewable resources including but not limited to solar, wind or biomass.
This program milestone offers renewable energy developers their first chance to submit proposals starting August 31, 2016, through Sept. 30, 2016. Developers will be chosen through a competitive bidding process and are expected to be chosen by December 2016. This request for proposals calls for a development target of 75 MW of renewable resources.
To submit a proposal, renewable energy developers can visit this website. In 2017, PG&E expects to issue two additional requests for offers for renewable energy developers, with the next solicitation occurring in spring 2017.
“The new Regional Renewable Choice program is part of our ongoing commitment to support the growth of solar and other renewable energy sources in California. Building on PG&E’s Solar Choice program launched earlier this year, this new program enables our customers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their electricity usage and allows them to directly be a part of California’s clean energy future. This is a win for our customers and for California,” said PG&E Vice President of Customer Energy Solutions Aaron Johnson.
PG&E has already connected more than 250,000 solar customers to the grid. Through its two new clean energy programs – PG&E’s Solar Choice and Regional Renewable Choice – the company aims to extend access to renewable energy to tens of thousands of additional homes and businesses in its service area.
— Solar Builder magazine