California solar projects left in the dark

Posted by Shane McGlaun

When it comes to green, California is undoubtedly at the forefront, with many millions of dollars invested in various projects to help make the state less reliant on energy that causes pollution. 



To that end, the state has installed an number of green power generation systems in various parks that are unfortunately sitting unused.

California solar projects left in the darkApparently, the infrastructure is ready to go, but a squabble between the state and the electricity provider in the areas in question - Southern California Edison - has left it unconnected to the grid.
 
The electricity provider and the state have been in discussions for about two years and have yet to be able to come to an agreement.

As such, the solar projects are sitting unused since the state is unable to tie them into the local electrical grids. 



The official sticking point in negotiations?

According to the LA Times, contractual restrictions imposed by federal law. 

Still, the real question is why Southern California Edison is having such issues, while other state electric companies managed to sign agreements and did so with little delay.
 
Recently retired National Park Service Oakland regional facilities manager Jack Williams said, "There's 24-plus systems in the Southern California Edison area that have been installed in the last three years that we have not been able to negotiate an interconnection agreement on. 



"We think we are close at times, but then nothing. We were successful with PG&E, but with Southern California Edison.... They have been a bit more difficult. We've raised the flag many times. It's an issue for all federal agencies."
 
The State of California is under intense pressure to cut its budgets and new solar facilitates installed in parks in Death Valley - whcih are sitting unused - could help shave as much as 70% off the electricity bill at the park. 
The current electric bill is in the area of $45,724 and the solar systems could chop $31,829 from that amount.