July 7, 2005
California panel passes Schwarzenegger solar plan
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A bill supported by Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger to sharply expand the use of solar power in
California was approved late on Wednesday by a state Assembly
The measure aims to put photovoltaic solar panels on the
rooftops of one million new homes and businesses in the next 10
years, raising California's solar generation from a current 100
megawatts to more than 3,000 megawatts, equivalent to 30 new
"peaking" plants to deliver power during high-demand periods.
energy and bring clean air and energy independence to
Electric utilities, manufacturing groups, and other
opponents say the measure is too costly at an estimated $2.5
In passing the bill, the Assembly's Utilities and Commerce
Committee required that solar panels be made available for
affordable housing and for low-income utility customers to be
exempt from paying into a solar energy fund, an aide to
Democrat Sen. Kevin Murray said.
Murray and Republican Sen. John Campbell wrote the measure,
which faces hearings in two other Assembly committees before a
vote in late August.
The measure has already passed the state Senate.