California's community solar bill died in state Assembly Committee late Friday. Intense, "late-session" lobbying by utilities Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE) led to the bill's failing, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
The community solar bill, Senate Bill 843 (SB 843), aimed to add another 2 GW of clean, renewable power in California by enabling residents to join forces to buy power from shared solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and small hydro power systems. Geographically, the bill would have covered the service territories of PG&E, SCE, and San Diego Gas & Electric, which are the state's three largest utilities.
State Senator Lois Wolk, a Democrat who represents the progressive city of Davis, said the bill died as a result of intense end-of-session lobbying by PG&E and Southern California Edison.
“Unfortunately, PG&E and Southern California Edison control the committee,” said Wolk in a statement released late Friday. “There was an agreement between the Assembly Speaker, the Committee Chair, and me that would have scaled the bill down to a pilot program under the Public Utilities Commission’s guidance and oversight. That agreement wasn’t honored and the bill died in committee, depriving the public of innovative energy policy in line with Governor Brown’s initiatives.”
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