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November 12, 2013 > California receives funding to speed solar deployment

California receives funding to speed solar deployment

Submitted By U.S. Dept. of Energy

The Energy Department announced November 6, 2013 that eight teams will spur solar power deployment by cutting red tape for residential and small commercial rooftop solar systems, including one team led by the California Center for Sustainable Energy and another led by Optony. As part of the DepartmentÕs Rooftop Solar Challenge, these teams will receive about $12 millionÐ matched by over $4 million in outside funding Ð to streamline and standardize solar permitting, zoning, metering and connection processes for communities across the country.

ÒToday, solar modules cost about one percent of what they did 35 years ago, and permitting and interconnection are an increasingly large portion of overall solar system costs. Through the Rooftop Solar Challenge, the Energy Department is helping to make the deployment of solar power in communities across the country faster, easier and cheaper Ð saving money and time for local governments, homeowners and businesses,Ó said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

The Rooftop Solar Challenge brings together city, county and state officials, regulatory entities, private industry, universities, local utilities and other regional stakeholders to address differing and expensive processes required to install and finance residential and small business solar systems.

During the ChallengeÕs first round, the California Center for Sustainable Energy team helped develop model permitting and interconnection processes to bring a streamlined approach to about 20 percent of CaliforniaÕs population. Building on this work, the team will make permitting and interconnection processes more uniform, faster and transparent across the state Ð helping to reduce soft costs for homeowners and businesses throughout California.

The Energy DepartmentÕs SunShot Initiative, which runs the Rooftop Solar Challenge, is a collaborative national effort that aggressively drives innovation to make solar energy fully cost-competitive with traditional energy sources by the end of the decade. ÊFor more information, visitÊwww.energy.gov/sunshot.

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