How will the PG&E bankruptcy affect the California solar industry? Two quick takeaways

Bankruptcy law

California’s largest utility, PG&E, filed for bankruptcy last week after years of liability for its role in California’s wildfires piled to an estimated $30 billion in damage. How will this affect the momentum of distributed generation projects in solar’s leading state? We reached out to the California Solar & Storage Association to learn more, and here are the two broad strokes.

1. Breathe out. There shouldn’t be any major impact on the solar and storage market in PG&E territory. The programs that affect solar and storage customers operate under state law and will continue regardless of what happens with PG&E.

2. Except delays. Certain tasks could become more annoying / frustrating. Take SGIP for example. The funds are collected by a separate adder on utility bills and reserved under state law, so CALSSA doesn’t foresee any impact on the program. But, depending on what happens with staffing, there could be delays in documentation and incentive payments. The same scenario could play out for interconnection processing with extended timelines. Those are just possibilities to consider and not definites. Pre-bankruptcy, PG&E already had a sluggish process for commercial interconnection and SGIP, but its residential solar interconnection turnaround ranks among the quickest in the country.

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