To get the green light, solar farms factor in price, storage and land

California regulators approved some — but not all — of the power contracts that Southern California Edison wants to have with BrightSource Energy in a compromise that they say will provide the state’s residents with more affordable solar power in the run long.

California’s pioneering energy storage mandate moves forward

California is moving ahead with what could be a precedent-setting mandate to require its utilities to invest in energy storage systems and services, which are meant to complement the growing amount of wind and solar electricity flowing into the grid.

Today in Cleantech

The battles over public power have raged for decades in San Francisco, as many people have wanted PG&E out and a public power system which emphasized renewable energy in. Well, yesterday’s decision by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) was, in many ways, a backdoor way of allowing the public to take greater control of the grid. The plan, called “net energy metering,” will allow more homeowners with solar panels installed to sell their excess power back to the utilities, providing yet another incentive for solar panel installation. The utilities are understandably up in arms, claiming that the plan means those selling power back to the grid are shifting maintenance costs for the grid onto other rate payers and the utilities. What’s at heart here is what role Californians believe a utility should play. If the CPUC believes a utility is just there to provide a stable grid, and that power generation can come from anywhere, that’s a radically different view that reduces the role of the utility. Though it also opens up the possibility of consumers rethinking their role in generating the power we’re all dependent on.

California expands solar net metering program

California regulators on Thursday essentially increase the amount of solar power generation that could qualify for net metering, but they left unresolved a contentious issue over whether people who don’t have solar or other renewable energy systems are subsidizing those who do.

CA regulators say no to PG&E’s request to invest in solar tech

Two months ago we asked whether utilities should invest in solar manufacturing because Pacific Gas & Electric was proposing to do just that. The answer from California regulators, who were divided over the issue, was “no” as they voted 3-2 to deny the request on Thursday.

BrightSource’s Ivanpah solar project is a quarter completed

BrightSource Energy, which builds solar power plants and plans to do an IPO, has completed about a quarter, or 25 percent, of its first project, Ivanpah, which is on schedule to come online next year, the company said in a government filing on Friday.

Abengoa clears final hurdle to build expensive solar farm in Cali

After spending five years to draw up the plan and secure construction permits and a fat federal loan guarantee, Abengoa Solar cleared a final hurdle Thursday when California regulators approved its contract to sell that power to Pacific Gas and Electric.