Free Solar Farms

Posts tagged ‘solar farms’

India plans to build the world’s largest floating solar farm

India plans to build the world’s largest floating solar farm.

Solar Farm Investment Opportunity


Rule 21

Sacramento, California. From the roof of the p...

Sacramento, California. From the roof of the power plant, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, approxim . . . – NARA – 521750 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rule 21 Enhances Renewable Energy Distribution in California

By Marsha W. Johnston
September 21, 2012   |

New Hampshire, USA — The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) last week handed developers of mid-sized, wholesale renewable energy systems, primarily solar, an important revision to its interconnection procedures, known as Rule 21.

The unanimously approved revision, say stakeholder participants in the year-long process, establishes several new national best practices, and removes barriers to continued growth of the state’s renewable energy market.

The new Rule 21 is, in effect, a settlement between California’s three major investor-owned utilities — Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric Company — and 11 other stakeholders, including the Clean Coalition and Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. (IREC).

“It is, by far and hands down, the best interconnection tariff in the country,” says IREC attorney Sky Stanfield of Keyes, Fox & Wiedman, who helped draft portions of the revised tariff language with her colleague Kevin Fox.  “We made it clearer in almost every way, adding timeframes and explanations of what’s happening. We came to fast track screens, made a more robust Supplemental Review, and it is the first tariff where utilities have accepted 100% minimum load as the standard for determining whether a full study is required.”

Under the previous Rule 21 procedures, Stanfield explains, the utilities made all renewable energy projects that represented 30 percent of the minimum load (or 15% of peak load) in their geographic area go through a full approval process.

Now, she says, projects with a 30% minimum/15% peak load can get Fast Track approval through a quick, initial review. “If they fail the 15 percent screen, they will go to Supplemental Review, which used to be totally unclear,” she continues.  “It didn’t explain what it would study or what it would cost. Previously, not a lot of projects could get through that process and there was no pressure on the utility to get projects through Supplemental Review.”

In the new Supplemental Review, projects that are below 100% of minimum load and pass two screens on safety and reliability can still get Fast Track approval, she said.  The adoption of the higher penetration screen is significant for solar projects because it is more relevant than the 15 percent of peak load screen.  “We were getting more and more systems in California, and many systems were failing the 15% screen, so we had to move the bar up,” she says.

Ted Ko, associate director of stakeholder Clean Coalition, says critically important issues of cost allocation and certainty remain to be resolved, but, acknowledges that it is the best revision possible in the given time frame. “We were pushing to get it done really fast. We did get more transparency, more definition, more timelines, and better clarification of the rules,” he said.  One of the most useful wins, he said, is the Pre-Application Report.  “Now you can get a report from the utility telling you how much it will cost to plug in to a location before you even apply. It cuts down on the number of non-viable apps the utilities have to deal with,” he said.

Rule 21’s interconnection procedures had become untenable following the passage of two landmark pieces of renewable energy legislation–California Senate Bill 32 on curtailing greenhouse gas emissions and Assembly Bill 1613 on connecting combined heat & power systems to the grid. “The driving reason we had to move forward was SB32, which expands the feed-in tariff program that requires expedited procedures, and no path was available under Rule 21, because they were wholesale systems,” says Stanfield.

Indeed, says Ko, those bills specifically targeted the market for wholesale distributed generation systems trying to connect to the grid and sell to the utilities.  “SB32 said that systems up to 3 MW, we have to get them into the grid quickly, not just leave them hanging,” he said. “There has been a spike in interconnections of this type in the last 3-4 years; it has jumped by factor of 10. SCE has hundreds of megawatts of solar waiting to connect.” See the chart below.

Saying it supports the CPUC’s decision, SCE said, “The Rule 21 Settlement will benefit renewable developers and increase the eligibility limit for Fast Track evaluation to 3 MW from 2 MW. The revised tariff should also improve the efficiency of the interconnection process by replacing the one-at-a-time study process with a group study process and by adding deadlines that apply to both generators and SCE.”


Rule 21

Electric Rule 21 is a tariff that describes the interconnection, operating and metering requirements for generation facilities to be connected to a utility’s distribution system, over which the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has jurisdiction.  The Rule 21 tariff for each of California’s large investor owned utilities (IOUs) is available on each IOU’s website. Note that the posted Rule 21 may not reflect updates to the tariff that may be pending before the CPUC:

The CPUC’s open interconnection proceeding is R.11-09-011.  For information or to discuss a matter related to distribution system interconnection, contact Rachel Peterson, Energy Division, or (415) 703-2872.

Recent Events

September 25, 2012:  Assigned Commission Phase II Scoping Memo Issued

Assigned Commissioner Michel P. Florio issued a Phase II Scoping Memo in R,11-09-011, setting out the high-priority issues to achieve the Commission’s goal of ensuring a timely, non-discriminatory, cost-effective, and transparent process for interconnection to the utility distribution system.

September 13, 2012:  Rule 21 Settlement Approved

In Decision 12-09-018 the Commission approved the full set of reforms to Rule 21 proposed via a multi-party settlement.  The Commission anticipates that the significant reforms achieved in Rule 21 will advance the Commission’s goals of ensuring a timely, non-discriminatory, cost-effective, and transparent interconnection process for distributed generation in California.


March 16, 2012:  Rule 21 Settlement filed

On March 16, 2012, fourteen parties to the Distribtuion System Interconnection Settlement Process filed a settlement in CPUC Rulemaking (R.)11-09-011.

The settling parties are:  Aloha Systems, California Farm Bureau Federation, Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies, Clean Coalition, Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Pacifc Gas and Electric Company, San Diego Gas & Electric Company, Sierra Club, solar Energy Industries Association, Southern California Edison, SunEdison, Sunlight Partners, Sustainable Conservation, and Vote Solar Initiative.

The centerpiece of the settlement is significantly reformed CPUC-jursidictional Rule 21 interconnection tariff.  Upon launching the settlement process for Rule 21 in August 2011, the CPUC’s goal was to craft transparent rules that provide a clear, predictable path to interconnection for distributed generation while maintaining the safety and reliability of the electric grid.

See here for the full Motion for Approval of Settlement Agreement Revising Distribution Level Interconnection Rules and Regulations.

September 22, 2011: CPUC approves Distribution Interconnection Proceeding

The CPUC approved an OIR (R.11-09-011) to “review the rules and regulations governing interconnecting generation and storage resources to the electric distribution systems of Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Southern California Edison Company (SCE), and San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E).”  The OIR is the procedural forum for the Distribution System Interconnection Settlement Process.

August 23, 2011: Distribution System Interconnection Settlement Process

The CPUC launched a multi-party Distribution System Interconnection Settlement Process intended to reach a global settlement on issues regarding distributed generation interconnection to the investor-owned utility distribution system in California.  The Settlement Process is subject to confidentiality rules, pursuant to CPUC Rule 12, and FERC Rule 602.

Rule 21 Working Group

The Rule 21 Working Group has served since 2000 as the source of ideas for maintaining and updating technical and other standards within the Rule 21 tariff.  The Rule 21 Working Group is not meeting in its usual format while the Distribution System Interconnection Settlement Process is underway. Future public meetings of the Rule 21 Working Group will be noticed in the Commission’s Daily Calendar.

August 2011 Working Group Workshops

  • August 19, 2011, 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., CPUC Auditorium: Rule 21 Working Group Workshop.  Off-site participation: This workshop will be available via video webcast in real-time and archived.  Presentation available here.
  •  August 19, 2011, 1:00-4:00 p.m., CPUC Courtyard Room: Rule 21 Working Group Technical Subcommittee Meeting.  Offsite participation will be available by phone.   Phone-in information will be sent only to participants who have completed an rsvp form at the link below.  Presentation available here.
  • August 23, 2011, 1:00-4:00 p.m., CPUC Courtyard Room: Rule 21 Working Group Business Practices Subcommittee Meeting.  Offsite participation will be available by phone.   Phone-in information will be sent only to participants who have completed an rsvp form at the link below.  Presentation available here.

Download the full agenda for the above meetings

April 2011 Working Group Workshops

CPUC held a Rule 21 Working Group Workshop Friday, April 29, 2011 at the CPUC Auditorium.

Download a printable agenda here

Workshop presentation materials:

About the Rule 21 Working Group

The intent of the Rule 21 Working Group is to build consensus among the CPUC, IOUs, generators, and advocates for Rule 21 reforms to meet the technical needs and policy goals of interconnecting distributed generation.  The Rule 21 Working Group succeeded at this goal in its past work, making California’s Rule 21 a national model tariff establishing metering and operating standards for interconnecting distributed generation resources.  Following three years of extensive change in the statutory, technological, and generator context, however, Rule 21 is widely agreed to be in need of reconsideration.

The purpose of this kickoff meeting is to initiate discussion of the issues emerging under Rule 21 that may be hindering the achievement of California’s distributed generation goals.  Below are examples of such issues that CPUC has identified:

  • Need for transparency in terms of processing, queue information, and customer application information;
  • Need for review and potential reconsideration of technical screens within Rule 21 to ensure that the appropriate issues are being studied;
  • Need for articulation of cost allocation methodology where network upgrades are required;
  • Need for review of utility tariff consistency with each other and with state law;
  • Need for additional standard interconnection agreements to accommodate the different types of distributed generation projects anticipated to come online.

June 20 2008: Workshop on Rule 21

On June 20, 2008, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) held a workshop on the topic of the Rule 21 interconnection standard.  The primary focus of the workshop was to discuss the transition of Rule 21 oversight from the California Energy Commission (CEC) to the CPUC.

More Information

A more detailed history of the Rule 21 Working Group is available on the CEC website. For more information about past Rule 21 Working Group activities visit

Last Modified: 10/3/2012


California Land Owners | Get a Free Solar Farm !

California Free Solar
Free Solar Farms

Are you interested in hosting a solar farm on your property and earning a lucrative passive income for 20 years or longer? and at no cost to you ?

No cost – yes – zero cost – we pay you – you earn passive income – for 20 years or longer – with a long term lease backed by a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with your local electric utility – you get paid – there is no cost to you – only income – earn passive income

– contact California Free Solar

– become a Solar Farmer today

California Free Solar is located in the heart of the Great Central Valley in California. We are currently developing solar projects in California, India, and Jamaica. We are expanding into Nevada, Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico, and Australia and are seeking new partners.

Are you interested in other types of solar power installations? Commercial ? Rooftop ? Residential ?

For More information and to Qualify
Contact: California Free Solar

Send Email:
Engineering & Technical Support:

Solar Power Generation | Wind Power Generation | Business Development
Solar Panels | Technical Sales and Marketing | Solar Power | PV Solar
California Free Solar | Solar Power Plants | Free Solar Farms | PV
Solar Power Farms | Solar Panel | California Free Solar | Solar Farms

An article from the LA Times published in February 2012 follows below


Central Valley’s Solar Farm Rush

Tracie Cone, Associated Press

Thursday, November 10, 2011 

Fresno — Don’t call a photovoltaic power station a “solar farm” in front of Chris Scheuring.

“We all do a little spin, but calling it a ‘crop’ is like bad poetry in a sophomore English class,” says the California Farm Bureau attorney. “I should know what a crop is, and it doesn’t fit my definition of a crop.”

The question of when a farm is a farm is coming up often these days in California’s agricultural heartland, where the sunny days and wide open spaces that make it America’s most productive agricultural land are proving an irresistible mix to developers seeking to get in on the U.S. push for renewable energy.

Developers say that solar panels “harvest” the sun’s energy to turn into electricity, and that their 35-year life span is about the same as an almond orchard.

“I view this as a temporary use,” said developer Al Solis, as he made a pitch to the Fresno County Board of Supervisors last week to allow farmland planted in Asian vegetables to convert to solar.

The land rush is on, and to critics it looks like the leapfrog housing boom of the late 20th century that chopped up some agriculture regions into too-small pieces.

State laws to protect prime soils are being set aside by local governments eager to transform farm economies into the next big thing. And developers are finding it easier to persuade county boards of supervisors to tear up contracts designed to keep land in farming than to overcome obstacles placed by endangered species on undisturbed land that might be more suitable, like the non-protected portions of California’s expansive Mojave Desert.

The state needs an estimated 100,000 acres of solar arrays with today’s technology to meet its mandate that 33 percent of all energy be renewable by 2020.

“We are definitely on the leading edge of a wave of proposals for industrial solar energy on tens of thousands of acres of land,” Scheuring said. “It’s a real good time to get our signals straight about how we are going to do this on California’s landscape.”

A joint policy paper released Oct. 24 by the law schools at UCLA and UC Berkeley says that California must balance food security and energy production by identifying marginal farmland and guiding solar development to it or risk consequences. The state lost 200,000 acres of irrigated farmland to development between 2006 and 2008, and 1.3 million acres since 1984.

In Fresno County alone, where the $5.8 billion in annual agriculture production is often the highest of any U.S. county, the stakes are high. At least 32 applications for utility-scale solar projects are on file since the first one was approved in July, and four more are planned here by Pacific Gas & Electric, which gets its approval from the state. The result would be a patchwork of solar collectors scattershot across prime farmland.

Planners say they can’t recall ever having so many permit applications pending for one type of development, even in the heydays of the home-building boom.

“This is unique, and it’s pretty new,” said Will Kettler, Fresno County’s principal planner.

A bill signed in October by Gov. Jerry Brown could make marginal land far more attractive for development. The law will expedite the process by which poor soil can be developed with solar by allowing owners to more easily end their Williamson Act contracts, which grant lower tax rates in exchange for keeping the land in agriculture for 10 years.

The law should expedite development of the 30,000-acre Westlands Solar Park 60 miles southwest of Fresno, one project that has the support of the major environmental groups. All of the land is either of marginal quality or without a reliable water source, but is covered by hundreds of contracts that would have had to be undone individually.

“We can now move forward without any of the underlying risks associated with guessing how we are going to remove … private land under the Williamson Act,” said Daniel Kim, a principle in development.

Last week Scheuring filed a first-ever lawsuit hoping to close a loophole in the act, which says prime land can be developed only if no other suitable land is available. His immediate target is Fresno County, where the Board of Supervisors last month allowed the owners of 156 acres planted in melons and tomatoes to develop solar.

Critics of the supervisors’ decision point out that the region has 200,000 acres of retired land contaminated with selenium perfectly suited for sun energy.

Scheuring was motivated by an opinion from the California Department of Conservation, which advised Fresno County not to approve the project.

“There are 100,000,000,000 acres in the state and the sun shines abundantly on most of it,” the department wrote. “Electrical generation facilities do not necessarily have to be located on land with the best quality soil; however agricultural crops can only be grown on land with the best quality soil, which is a scarce and nonrenewable resource.”

Scheuring’s intent is to follow the case to the appellate level to force a statewide policy on solar development.

“It would be a strong signal to the solar industry to think more creatively about the task of siting these things within the existing mosaic of California land uses,” Scheuring said.

California Land Owners | Get a Free Solar Farm !

Generate solar power on your own land and earn $$$$$ with no cost to you at all. We provide the design, labor, and parts for your free solar farm. We are responsible for the installation and maintenance. A 20 year lease is required to benefit from the passive income generated by a solar farm on your property. Total income to the landowner during the 20 year lease period is substantial. Easy access to the land is necessary for construction and maintenance. Qualifying land needs to be adjacent to electric utility power distribution lines and within a specified distance of an electric utility substation. Contact California Free Solar for a free qualification today.

Call California Free Solar now for more information:

(209) 233-1342

Build a Solar Power Plant

Solar Power Plant Project – How to Build a Solar Plant in 10 Steps

12 Apr, 2011

Solar Energy

Solar Power Plants have mushroomed in different parts of the world as Global Solar Demand has increased by more than 150% in 2010.Solar

Power Plants built on the Ground differ from that put on the Roofs of Houses as they require to go through feasibility,environmental assessment, grid connection, siting etc. which is typical for a large industrial project.

The time taken to build a solar power plant project is also much more than a rooftop residential solar installation.Solar Farms are being mainly being built in countries which have subsidy program like tax rebates,feed in tariffs etc.

However building a solar plant has become quite easy unlike in the past as solar panel, solar inverters and installation expertise is more easily available.

The regulations and permits for building a solar plant or a solar farm on the other hand differ from country to country and region to region depending on federal and state laws.

For a Large Solar Plant like the Aqua Caliente,there are a number of permitting steps that have to be passed before the plant can be built.For smaller power plants in the 5 MW range the requirements are less.In general the smaller the size of the solar installation,the lower the number of regulations required.

Here are the steps required in building a Solar Power Plant

1) Site Identification – Identifying a Suitable Site for Building the Solar Plant.Note the Area should not be heavily forested and have easy access to the Roads and the Power Grid.

2) Preliminary Financial Analysis – Preliminary Financial Feasibility with inputs like the Land Costs,Solar Insolation,Interconnection possibility with the Power Grid Operator

3) Land Leasing or Buying – After Step 2 has passed,then begins the Acquisition of the Land through Lease or Ownership.

4) Basic Engineering Design/Technology Selection – An Engineering Layout is prepared along with the Selection of the Technology and Vendors of Solar Equipment

5) Permitting – Various Permitting Procedures need to be followed in this Step.This is specific to an Area and can be quite cumbersome.For eg. in the USA the permitting involves very heavy costs forming almost 15-20% of the cost of a Solar Project.

6) Power Purchase Agreement – A Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) needs to be signed with the Power Utility who will buy the Electricity

7) Selection of EPC – A System Integrator or a Solar EPC Contractor is selected.  In case an EPC Contractor is selected then Solar Panels , Mounting and Inverters needs to be purchased if the Contract is not a Turnkey One

8) Financing of the Solar Project needs to be done.Note Solar Power Plants require a high initial investment with very low O&M costs.In general 60-80% of the Project is Debt Financed.

9) Testing and Connection to Grid –

After the Solar Plants is built,Testing of the Plant has to be done before it is connected to the Power Grid

10) Ongoing O&M – A Solar Plant has a life of between 25-30 years and requires minimal maintenance and monitoring.

Solar Inverters have to be replace after 10-15 years.

In case a Solar Module fails,it needs to be replaced as well as it degrades the performance of other Solar Panels. Note the Above Steps are a basic procedure for a Solar Power Project.It can be further be refined into more steps.

Summary Note

building a Solar Power Plant requiresProject Management skills typical of an industrial project with some unique characteristics.

The above steps are a simlistic procedure of a how to go about building a solar power plant.

The process in fact requires more detail and solid execution skills.A Solar Plant can be built in 3 months to 2 years depending on the expertise and the permitting required.

Note building a Solar Thermal Plant is much more time consuming typcially taking between 3-5 years.

CBS Denver

Find Denver news, Colorado news, Colorado weather forecasts and sports reports including Denver Broncos at

Great Things from Small Things .. Nanotechnology Innovation

"The Wind and the Waves are Always on the side of the Ablest Navigators." - Edward Gibbon

MIT Environmental Policy and Planning

Graduate students and faculty in the Environmental Policy and Planning Group (EPP) are constantly involved in a range of applied research projects dealing with sustainable development, environmental regulation, collaborative adaptive management, ecosystem services, climate change, and water policy. The results of this research can be useful to planners and policymakers around the world.


News, Views, & Musings for a Nuclear-Free, Carbon-Free future. This is a publication of Nuclear Information and Resource Service

African Grid Solutions

Powering African through clean alternative energy and microgrid

Snowgood's Blog

Just another weblog


Randomn Musings - All sorts! Whatever catches my fancy.

CHINDIA ALERT: You'll be living in their world, very soon

continuously updated blog about China & India

JBS News Renewable Energy

Power to the People!

Greenenergy2's Blog

Just another weblog

create your energy power

solar outdoor lighting

Terra1 Communications

Renewable Resources, Cleantech, Investment

Go Green Tucson

Solar energy, wind energy, and othe alternative energy sources

John Brian Shannon

It's Your Right to be Informed

The Solar CA Blog of John Barnes

discussion of solar PV topics for large scale distributed generation

%d bloggers like this: