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California Solar Initiative


California Solar Initiative Content ... Update Statewide Trigger Point Tracker Program Activity to date Program ... Program Administrators and have an active A ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: California Solar Initiative

  • California Solar Initiative

  • Overview of CSI
  • Whats New
  • CSI Status Update
  • CSI Field Inspection Process
  • CSI Metering
  • CSI Application Process

Overview of CSI
CSI Budget
  • Total authorized CPUC CSI budget is 2.165
  • Funded by electric distribution rates
  • Regional CSI incentive budgets are as follows

CSI Eligible Customers
  • Eligible customer projects must be within the
    service territory of and must receive retail
    level electric service from
  • Pacific Gas and Electric (PGE)
  • Southern California Edison (SCE)
  • San Diego Gas Electric (SDGE)
  • The California Center for Sustainable Energy
    administers the CSI in the SDGE Service
  • Municipal electric utility customers are not
    eligible to receive incentives
  • Municipal electric utilities are required to have
    a CSI solar program for their customers starting
    in 2008

CSI Eligible Projects
  • Residential Retrofit Projects1
  • Non-Residential Retrofit and New Construction
  • Minimum System Size of 1 kW
  • Maximum System Size of 5 MW
  • Incentives will be capped to the First MW
  • 1 MW under SGIP and 1 MW under CSI allowed
  • Future system expansions allowed
  • Installed capacity at site may not exceed actual
    energy consumed during previous 12 months
  • Maximum System Capacity 12-months previous kWh
    usage / (0.18 x 8760 hr/year)
  • New Construction and Future Load Growth must be

1) New construction residential projects
administered by the CEC under the New Solar Homes
Partnership Program
CSI Incentive Structure
  • As of January 1, 2007, the CSI program pays
  • Expected Performance-Based Buydown (EPBB)
    incentives for PV projects lt 100 kW
  • EPBB is an up-front incentive based on an
    estimate of the system's future performance
  • EPBB combines the benefits of rewarding PV System
    performance with the administrative simplicity of
    a one-time incentive paid at the time of project
  • Performance-Based Incentives (PBI) for PV
    projects gt 100 kW
  • Monthly payments based on measured kWh output of
    solar power produced over a 5-year period

Expected Performance Based Buydown (EPBB)
  • Applies to Systems lt 100 kW
  • Paid upfront, based on the following incentive
    rates (based on current incentives reserved)
  • EPBB Incentive EPBB Incentive Rate x System
    Rating x Design Factor
  • Design Factor Simulated solar output of
    proposed system/Simulated solar output for
    optimal system
  • Takes into consideration location, orientation,
    tilt and shading effects on system performance
  • EPBB Design Factor Tool

Performance Based Incentives (PBI)
  • Applies to systems 100 kW
  • Paid monthly over a 5-year period, based on the
    following incentive rates
  • PBI Incentive PBI Incentive Rate x Measured PV
    System Energy Output
  • Reservation Amount will vary by capacity factor
  • Reservation Amount PBI Incentive Rate x .18 x
    8760 x CSI System Size x 5 year (fixed systems)
  • Reservation Amount PBI Incentive Rate x .22 x
    8760 x CSI System Size x 5 year (tracking
  • Customers may opt into PBI for systems lt 100 kW

CSI Incentive Rates
  • Incentive structure
  • Rebates automatically decline based upon
    reservations reserved
  • Higher rebates for non-taxable entities

  PGE (MW) PGE (MW) EPBB Payments (per Watt) EPBB Payments (per Watt) EPBB Payments (per Watt) PBI Payments (per kWh) PBI Payments (per kWh) PBI Payments (per kWh)
Step Res Non-Res Residential Commercial Gov't / Nonprofit Residential Commercial Gov't / Nonprofit
1 - - n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
2 10.1 20.5 2.50 2.50 3.25 0.39 0.39 0.50
3 14.4 29.3 2.20 2.20 2.95 0.34 0.34 0.46
4 18.7 38.1 1.90 1.90 2.65 0.26 0.26 0.37
5 23.1 46.8 1.55 1.55 2.30 0.22 0.22 0.32
6 27.4 55.6 1.10 1.10 1.85 0.15 0.15 0.26
7 31 62.9 0.65 0.65 1.40 0.09 0.09 0.19
8 36.1 73.2 0.35 0.35 1.10 0.05 0.05 0.15
9 41.1 83.4 0.25 0.25 0.90 0.03 0.03 0.12
10 50.5 102.5 0.20 0.20 0.70 0.03 0.03 0.10
Whats New
Whats New
  • Recent TOU decision
  • PAs to file Advice Letter for proposed CSI
    Handbook changes
  • CSI Program Forum held on June 29th in Irwindale
    (Southern California)
  • CSI Program Administrators hired technical
    experts to assess incentives and filed CSI
    Handbook changes on June 1, 2007
  • Beta testing for Statewide Database began in June

Update on Time of Use (TOU) Rate Requirements
  • TOU tariffs are now optional for CSI applicants
    not otherwise required to take service on TOU
    tariffs, until the CPUC develops requirements and
    approves new PGE TOU tariffs.
  • Customers who have already applied for CSI
    rebates have the option of remaining on their TOU
    rate schedule or returning to their prior
    electricity rate schedule or an otherwise
    applicable flat rate schedule for which they
  • If customers were required to switch to a TOU
    rate schedule in order to receive their CSI
    rebate, they may be eligible to receive a credit
    for any difference between their bill under the
    TOU rate schedule and a qualifying flat rate
  • See the Clean Power Estimator at

PAs Advice Letter - Procedures
  • PAs intend to file an Advice Letter with the CPUC
    to recommend changes to CSI Handbook
  • Proposed changes are not effective until Advice
    Letter is approved
  • Regulatory procedure allows for a Protest Period

Proposed Handbook Changes
  • System Description Worksheet Eliminate this
    requirement for all residential systems and
    non-residential systems under 10 kW
  • Proof of Insurance for Installers Eliminate
    this requirement within the CSI Program
  • Application for Interconnection Eliminate the
    requirement to submit Interconnection application
    at the same time as the rebate application for
    all residential systems and non-residential
    systems under 10 kW (2-Step Applications)
  • Electrical System Sizing Documentation Eliminate
    load justification requirement for systems less
    than 5 kW
  • Advanced Reservation prior to Interconnection
    Eliminate the Handbook requirement to have an
    approved reservation prior to interconnection. 

Proposed Handbook Changes
  • Self-Installations Revise conflicting language
    in handbook to allow for self-installations to be
    eligible for CSI incentives
  • Copy of Executed PMRS Contract or Cost Cap
    Exemption Documentation Add to final paperwork
    (Incentive Claim Form package)
  • Correct Minor Typos Please identify any you
    have seen!
  • Change SDREO to CCSE
  • Changes due to Regulatory Decisions
  • Update MW Trigger Section on how to allocate MWs
    that have dropped out
  • Updated language on EPBB calculator
  • Update TOU Section to reflect new changes

CSI Status Update
Statewide Trigger Point Tracker
Program Activity to date
Customer Class Status Total of Projects Total System Size (kW) Total Incentive Amount
Residential Active Projects1 1,490 7,139.351 23,876,973
Residential Incentive Claim Projects Received2 121 541.189 1,353,969
Residential Completed 92 376.162 940,430
Non-residential Active Projects1 215 44,867.176 139,325,628
Non-residential Incentive Claim Projects Received2 2 108.934 242,968
Non-residential Completed 1 8.283 15,738
Total 1,921 53,041.095 165,755,706
1 Applications currently under review or have been reserved for CSI funding 1 Applications currently under review or have been reserved for CSI funding
2 Incentive Claim packages submitted that are under review, waiting for additional documentation from customer, or completion of field inspection before payment can be issued 2 Incentive Claim packages submitted that are under review, waiting for additional documentation from customer, or completion of field inspection before payment can be issued 2 Incentive Claim packages submitted that are under review, waiting for additional documentation from customer, or completion of field inspection before payment can be issued 2 Incentive Claim packages submitted that are under review, waiting for additional documentation from customer, or completion of field inspection before payment can be issued 2 Incentive Claim packages submitted that are under review, waiting for additional documentation from customer, or completion of field inspection before payment can be issued
Program Activity to date
CSI Field Inspection Process
CSI Inspections
  • Inspections will
  • Verify that equipment nameplates and counts match
    those submitted on the Incentive Claim Form
  • Include measurements to verify that system tilt,
    orientation, and shading values are consistent
    with values used in the EPBB calculator and
    submitted along with the Incentive Claim Form
  • Verify that system is operational and output is
    reasonable for conditions at time of inspection

CSI Inspections
  • Coordinating Inspections
  • Inspector will require physical access to the
    equipment to perform inspection.
  • Applicant is not required to attend inspection,
    but it is recommended.
  • We prefer that the applicant coordinate with
    customer to provide necessary access to
  • Upon request by the applicant, the inspector will
    coordinate access directly with the customer.

Equipment Verification
  • Module verification
  • If PV modules are mounted such that nameplates
    arent visible, we will request invoice to verify
    make and model.
  • Number of modules installed is verified by the
    inspector on-site.
  • Inverter verification
  • Inspector needs to verify make, model, and number
    of inverters installed and that PV system is

Installation Verification
  • Verify Inputs
  • Inspector will measure the tilt, azimuth and
    shading of array(s) on site and check against
    submitted values.
  • Correct Inputs
  • The EPBB design factor will be recalculated if
    measured values differ significantly from
    submitted values.
  • Approve Inputs
  • If submitted values are reasonable compared to
    measured values then the inspector will approve
    inputs as submitted.

Common Mistakes
  • Azimuth
  • Not corrected for magnetic declination
  • Compass used near metal or magnet
  • Bad compass
  • Shading
  • Misunderstanding of minimal shading
  • Incorrect shading analysis

Measuring Azimuth
  • Azimuth
  • Lookup magnetic declination for location
  • Stay 10-15 ft. away from metal or magnets
  • Add magnetic declination to compass reading
  • Check reading against tools like GoogleEarth

Magnetic Declination Correction
Measuring Shading
  • Minimal shading requires at least 21 distance to
    height ratio (equal to 26.6 altitude angle) of
    any object between 80 to 280 orientation.
  • Systems without minimal shading must submit
    monthly solar access for site.
  • Solar access can be measured with tools such as
    the Solar Pathfinder or Solmetric SunEye.

Minimal Shading
Object Height is 10 feet above the array. 2x
Height 20 feet Distance 40 feet 2x Height lt
Distance Minimal Shading
Not Minimal Shading
Object Height is 15 feet above the array. 2x
Height 30 feet Distance 25 feet 2x Height gt
Distance Not Minimal Shading
Case Study
9 panels tilted S
21 panels S
Neighbors tree
Compile Data
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
  • Jan 65 100 100 90 90 100 100
  • Feb 70 100 100 91 91 100 100
  • Mar 74 100 100 92 93 100 100
  • Apr 77 100 100 93 94 100 100
  • May 80 100 100 95 95 100 100
  • Jun 85 100 100 96 96 100 100
  • Jul 90 100 100 97 97 100 100
  • Aug 85 100 100 98 98 100 100
  • Sep 80 100 100 96 95 100 100
  • Oct 75 100 100 93 93 100 100
  • Nov 70 100 100 92 91 100 100
  • Dec 65 100 100 90 90 100 100

of Solar Availability per month
Calculate Average
Jan 89 Jan 90 Feb 90 Feb 91 Mar 92 Mar 92
Apr 93 Apr 93 May 94 May 94 June 95 June 95 Jul
y 97 July 96 Aug 96 Aug 96 Sept 94 Sept 95 Oct
92 Oct 93 Nov 91 Nov 92 Dec 89 Dec 91
Array 1 Reads 1-4
Array 2 Reads 5-8
Calculate Impact
Run EPBB tool per Array Array 1 9
panels Array 2 21 panels
Shade EPBB vs PBI
  • PBI
  • Incentive based on kWh generated
  • Winter shade matters
  • Entire years system availability determines
  • EPBB
  • Only summer availability determines incentive
  • Much more forgiving of total shade impact

Shading Measurement Tips
  • Account for tilt azimuth in shading analysis
    software (Solar Pathfinder Assistant Solmetric
    SunEye). This will affect results.
  • Communicate tool and method used to inspector if

Inspection Results
  • Inspector will communicate any discrepancies
    found with applicant attending inspection.
  • Inspector will recalculate EPBB design factor if
    necessary and submit with report.
  • Inspection report is submitted to the Program
    Administrator by the inspector.
  • Program Administrator will contact applicant if
    discrepancies were found.

CSI Metering
Meter Requirements
  • All Systems Must Have Metering Performance
  • Performance meters are in addition to utility
    revenue meters
  • Must have 5-yrs of independent performance
  • Subject to certain exemptions (See Table 16 in
    CSI Handbook)
  • Cost Responsibility Caps
  • Customer must bear all costs for performance
    meters for 5 years of performance monitoring
    (incl. data communication)
  • Costs not to exceed 1 of system costs for 30kW
    and below, 0.5 above 30kW (EPBB Only - See Table
    16 for exemptions)
  • EPBB vs. PBI Accuracy Requirements
  • EPBB lt 10 kW /- 5 accurate (inverter meters
  • EPBB gt 10 kW All PBI /- 2 accurate

Meter Requirements
  • Additional 2 Meter Requirements
  • Must have Certificate from manufacturer verifying
  • Must be capable of recording 15-minute interval
  • Must have remote communication capability (except
    EPBB systems lt 20 kW that are unable to meet
    cost cap)
  • All Meters Must Be Listed by CEC
  • CEC listing must state that the meter meets the
    2 requirement to be eligible for PBI program
  • Meter Warranty Requirements
  • 2007 One-Year Warranty
  • 2008 Five-Year Warranty

CSI Handbook
Refer to CSI Handbook, Section 2.8 and Appendix B
PMRS Documentation
  • Customers are required to submit proof that they
    have contracted with an eligible Performance
    Monitoring Reporting Service (PMRS) provider
  • PMRS provider must be listed on CEC web site
  • PMRS providers must not be affiliated with the
    incentive recipient, or any solar manufacturer or
    installer (D.06-08-028, Ordering Paragraph 17,
    page 124)
  • EPBB customers lt 20 kW requesting an exemption
    per Table 16 must submit evidence that they
    cannot meet the cost cap
  • For now, we just need an estimate from an
    eligible PMRS provider showing the cost exceeds
    the cap
  • The Program Administrators are working on an
    exemption form for use in the near future

Meter Data Requirements
  • Two Separate Data Streams
  • Performance Data to Customer
  • Daily, hourly or real-time performance data to
  • Data maintained by PMRS provider per Handbook
  • Only PMRS providers listed with the CEC currently
  • PBI Data to Program Administrator
  • Monthly kWh produced 15-min. interval data (kW)
  • Submitted via approved Performance Data
    Provider (PDP)
  • Program Administrators developing PDP
  • Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) 867 format
  • Eligible PDPs may include PMRS providers, PGE or
    3rd parties such as Meter Data Management Agents

Meter Installation Options
  • Customers may contract with utility or qualified
    3rd party providers
  • Can use any qualified provider for the meter
    installation, so long as the meter is
    CEC-approved installed to NEC standards and
    applicable local codes
  • We recommend using experienced meter installers
    for safety reliability reasons. (See CPUC web
    site for certified Meter Service Providers)
  • Customer responsible for installing meter socket
    for utility-provided meters
  • Customers should decide early in the process who
    will provide meter, PBI data PMRS service to
    avoid delays, minimize cost and ensure

Meter Requirements Update
  • Petition to Modify submitted on March 5th
  • Submitted by PGE, SDREO (now CCSE), PV Now,
    CalSEIA, Vote Solar Initiative, SMA America
  • If approved, Petition would modify CSI as
  • All EPBB customers can use /- 5 (inverter)
  • Remove cost cap for all PBI customers confirm
    2 meter requirement for all PBI, regardless of
  • Remove requirement for PMRS providers to be
    unaffiliated with solar vendors installers

Meter Requirements Update(Contd)
  • CPUC issued a Proposed Decision (PD) on June 26th
    that would implement the first two issues
  • CPUC to issue separate PD on the PMRS issue at a
    later date
  • CPUC expected to act on first PD at July 26th
    Commission meeting
  • We are now in the 30-day comment period
  • The Commission could adopt the PD as is, modify
    it, or reject it
  • PGE to file comments in support of PD
  • Until/unless CPUC adopts PD, current meter
    requirements apply

Meter PMRS Links
  • Eligible Equipment, MSPs, MDMAs, and PMRS
  • Eligible Meters Listed on CEC website
  • MSP Listing on CPUC website
  • MDMA Listed on CPUC website http//
  • PMRS Listed on CEC website http//www.consumer

CSI Application Process
Program Eligibility
  • Host Customers must perform an energy efficiency
    audit to be eligible for CSI incentives
  • CSI Installers must be listed with the Program
    Administrators and have an active A, B, C-10, or
    C-46 license
  • Self-Installations allowed
  • All systems must have minimum 10-year warranty
    covering the solar generating system provided for
    no cost repair or replacement

3-Step vs. 2-Step Reservation Process
  • 3-Step Reservation Process
  • Non-Residential System size gt10 kW
  • Subject to Application Fee of 1 of Requested
    Incentive Amount
  • Customers may opt-in to Expedited 3-Step
  • 2-Step Reservation Process
  • Residential System of any size
  • Non-Residential Systems lt10 kW
  • No Application Fee
  • Reservation Period
  • 12-months for retrofit projects
  • 18-months for new construction/government/non-prof
  • All forms available at

Refer to CSI Handbook, Section 4.1
3 Step Process
Refer to CSI Handbook, Section 4.2
3 Step Process
Refer to CSI Handbook, Section 4.2
3 Step Process
Refer to CSI Handbook, Section 4.7.2
2 Step Process
Refer to CSI Handbook, Section 4.1
2 Step Process
Refer to CSI Handbook, Section 4.1
Avoid Common Mistakes
  • Include host customer e-mail information
  • If a customer is a public entity, be sure to
    provide the AB1407 letter
  • If a customer is a non-profit, be sure to provide
    confirmation that the system will not be
    receiving tax benefits
  • In the Applicant section, please provide a
    contact for the person who will be handling the
    paperwork and data requests.
  • Please provide future load documentation for
    non-residential new construction or added load
  • Whenever possible, include the application fee
    check with the initial application

Website Resources
  • PGE Solar Website
  • PGE CSI Website
  • CPUC Solar Website
  • Locate Solar Installers
  • CEC PV Eligible Technologies http//www.consumere

Additional PGE Resources
  • Pacific Energy Center and Stockton Training
  • Solar Classes http//
  • Basics of Photovoltaic (PV) Systems for Grid-Tied
  • Solar Water Heating Systems
  • Field Verification and Diagnostic Testing of
    Photovoltaic Systems for HERS Raters
  • Understanding Financial Analysis Methods for
    Photovoltaic (PV) Systems
  • Diagnostic Tool Lending Library
  • Solar Pathfinder
  • Solmetric SunEye
  • All tool requests must be submitted online via
    our online tool request form at
    The Request to Borrow Tools link at the top of
    the page brings borrower to our online tool
    request form.
  • We request 2 to 3 days lead time for tool

PGE Contact Information
  • Website
  • Email Address
  • Contact Person
  • Program Manager, Telephone (800) 743-5000
  • Fax (415) 973-8300
  • Mailing Address
  • PGE Integrated Processing Center
  • California Solar Initiative Program
  • P.O. Box 7265
  • San Francisco, CA 94120-7265

Generation Interconnection Services
GIS Role
  • One point of contact for customer (or authorized
    agent) with regard to interconnecting systems
  • Coordinate various activities, including
    engineering, metering, and contract
  • Responsible to ensure system is installed as
    design indicates and operating according to Rule
  • Two types of solar interconnections NEM and
    non-NEM options

Process Improvement
  • Change in AC disconnect requirement policy
    November 2006
  • NEM-MT has been approved to permit projects with
    solar combined with other generation technologies
  • Underway simplification of application, to be
    combined with the Agreement for NEM

Interconnection Application and Agreement
  • A separate application and process from CSI
    (recently updated)
  • Process runs parallel with CSI/SGIP
  • Application must be complete and include required
    documents for review
  • Execute Inspection and Interconnection Agreement
    before a system is permitted to operate

Project Review
  • Check system to ensure built as designed (matches
  • Install bi-directional meter (NEM)
  • Verify installation of AC disconnect and
    appropriate signage (if required)
  • Install Net Gen Output Meter, if needed

Overall Timeline
  • NEM projects- generally less than 30 business
  • Non-NEM- within 60 days, if all required
    docs/signatures and construction is on schedule

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  • Standard NEM http//
  • Expanded NEM http//
  • Non-NEM projects http//
  • Contact, or 415-972-5676
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