September 27, 2011

California adopts new green energy laws

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed three bills into law meant to encourage the use of solar energy and other renewable resources in the nation's most populated state.

The governor went to Marshall Elementary School in Fowler, Calif., on Thursday to showcase the beneficiaries of SB 585, which helps school districts finance solar installations on school buildings through a $200 million grant to the California Solar Initiative.

The second bill, AB 1150, extends the California Public Utilities Commission's Self-Generations Incentive Program through 2014. The program gives nearly $83 million in rebates per year to consumers who install renewable energy resources - including solar panels, wind turbines, fuel cells and other energy storage devices - on their side of the utility meter.

A third bill signed by the governor requires the California Department of Fish and Game to expedite applications for solar thermal and photovoltaic power plants. SB 16 gives the department 30 days to determine if such applications are complete. After that determination, the department has 60 days to approve or reject.

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