Southern California Edison signs on its first community solar project

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For several reasons, installing solar panels isn’t an option for many Southern Californians. Now, Southern California Edison’s residential and business customers have another way to take advantage of solar energy. The utility has signed on the first developer, SharedSolarCA, to its Community Renewables Program, a program that lets customers take part in renewable energy projects in their community.

“At SCE, we are committed to providing our customers with more options to take advantage of clean, renewable energy. By partnering with SharedSolarCA on our Community Renewables Program, we are bringing clean energy projects to our local neighborhoods,” said Jessica Lim, SCE’s principal manager of product management. “Not only will this project help us meet California’s climate change goals, it will also contribute to cleaner, healthier air for all Southern Californians.”

Here is how the program works. Customers sign up with SharedSolarCA to receive solar energy. SCE purchases solar energy from SharedSolarCA on the customer’s behalf. Customers receive a bill from SharedSolarCA for the portion of solar energy they used. SharedSolarCA provides that information so SCE can give the customer a credit on their bill. The credit is based on the portion of the project’s solar energy output that the customer has used.

Customers who enroll will start to receive a SCE bill credit within 60 days of enrollment. If they enroll before the facility is operational, the credit will be applied once the facility begins to operate.

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The SharedSolarCA community solar project will be located in in Lancaster, California. It will provide 3 megawatts of solar energy, enough to power more than 1,000 homes. The project is expected to be fully operational in December. Interested customers may sign up to receive solar energy from SharedSolarCA’s Lancaster community solar project through its website.

“SCE has taken a leadership role in providing its customers with sustainable energy choices on the path to achieving California’s 100% renewable energy goal,” said Roy Schwartz, SharedSolarCA’s vice president of power sales. “SharedSolarCA is proud to work together with SCE in achieving that goal.”

Renewable energy purchased through the Community Renewables Program is Green-e Energy certified. It meets the environmental and consumer protection standards set forth by the nonprofit Center for Resource Solutions.

The Community Renewables Program supports SCE’s vision for a clean energy future. The Clean Power and Electrification Pathway lays out a path to achieve California’s 2030 greenhouse gas and air pollution goals. It calls for adding more emissions-free energy on the grid. This includes solar, wind, geothermal and hydro power. It also illustrates the need for millions of electric vehicles on California highways. Additionally, it also highlights the need for electric space and water heaters in nearly one-third of all California buildings.

— Solar Builder magazine

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