California supports a controversial SMUD community solar plan in Sacramento

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Some shopper groups and solar promoters are bothered by a controversial solar plan conceived by SMUD. With a 5-0 vote Thursday, the California Energy Commission affirmed the SMUD community solar plan known as Neighborhood SolarShares.

Under the plan, shoppers can outfit the energy of the sun in an alternate manner. Rather than installing solar panels on all new housing construction as required under new state law, with the vote, home manufacturers have the alternative to give energy to customers from solar farms previously snared to the electricity grid.

The arrangement is intended to make new homes progressively reasonable.

The California Energy Commission said it’s acceptable open arrangement for the state.

“I think it makes it easier for folks to comply with our solar mandate,” said David Hochschild, chair of the commission. “It’s going to be part of how we build a clean energy future. We’re going to do rooftop solar, we’re going to do utility-scale solar and now, because of this program, we’re doing community solar as well.”

In any case, David Rosenfeld, of Solar Rights Alliance, opposes this idea.

“With SMUD’s proposal, those homes are not going to save that money,” he said. “So in the long run — actually in the medium run — those homeowners are going to be paying more for energy bills. So, this is worse for the consumer.”

Rosenfeld clarified homeowners will be secured in a 20-year contract with SMUD purchasing energy from the solar farms.

“The credit that they’re going to be getting from SMUD is just a fraction of the cost of what they’d be getting if they just had solar on their rooftop,” he added.

Be that as it may, SMUD demands the new arrangement benefits purchasers over the long run.

“We are guaranteeing the solar output to this for new homes for 20 years, regardless of rain or shine,” said Ed Hamazawi, SMUD’s director or advanced energy solutions. “It absolves homeowners from having to worry about the maintenance of their system, cleaning of their system, break down of panels.”

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Acumen Digest journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.

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