Owners of medium-sized commercial solar generators will be paid a premium for any extra power they send into the grid under two new laws signed on Sunday by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
SB 32, introduced by Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod, requires utilities to pay 15-17 cents per kilowatt-hour for electricity produced by solar-panel generators ranging from 1.5 to 3.0 megawatts. (Previously, the arrangement was capped at 1.5 MW.)
The other new law, the California Solar Surplus Act (AB-920), was introduced by Assemblymember Jared Huffman. This bill now requires utilities to pay for power generated, but not used, by commercial solar generators. Before winning a seat in the California Assembly in 2008, Huffman was a senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill that would have granted the tariff only to generators located within the state.
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