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'Million solar roofs' program gets off to a bright start

California's solar initiative, better known as the million solar roofs program, has had "a very healthy start," according to Polly Shaw, the solar initiative analyst for the state's Public Utilities Commission. At San Jose's SunPower, vice president Julie Blunden calls the early results "impressive," especially since much of 2007 has been spent establishing new regulations, procedures and forms. This year through mid-September, the PUC says, applications for solar incentives for projects that will represent 160 megawatts of power have been received.

That compares with 198 megawatts of solar power installed state-wide over the previous 25 years. In all, the program has 5,109 applications this year - with more than 1,200 in August alone. That'll mean $320 million in rebates to homeowners and business owners. Of those, residences account for 89% of the applications. However, the remaining 11% from businesses, governments and non-profits represent 87% of the total megawatts. The goal is to have 3,000 megawatts of solar power, or about 1 million new solar roofs, in operation by 2017.

News source: Mercury News

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