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CALIFORNIA MANDATORY SOLAR UPDATE: First Community Solar Program Approved by California Energy Commission

On February 20, 2020, the California Energy Commission approved its first community solar system under the 2019 Energy Code, which allows developers of new homes within Sacramento Municipal Utility District (“SMUD”) to meet mandatory solar energy system requirements through solar agreements with SMUD instead of installation of solar panels on new homes.

Builders opting to utilize the SMUD Neighborhood SolarShares® program (“SolarShares  Program”) are required to enter into signed agreements with SMUD.  CC&Rs must be recorded for the benefit of, and enforceable by, SMUD to bind future homeowners to the SolarShares Program requirements.  Participating homeowners are required to pay a SolarShares Program charge which is applied to their monthly electric bill.  SolarShares credits (reductions in the bill) are also reflected on the participating homeowner’s electric bill. Additional information regarding the California Energy Commission approved SolarShares Program is available here.

Community solar systems are specifically contemplated by the California Energy Code.  SMUD’s SolarShares Program is the first program approved by the California Energy Commission under the 2019 Energy Code and potentially represents the first of many programs that will provide residential homebuilders with an alternative to the 2019 California Building Standards’ mandate to install solar systems on newly constructed homes.

Copyright © 2020, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP.

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About this Author

Anna T. Dorros Real Estate, Land Use and Environmental Attorney Sheppard Mullin Law Firm San Diego
Partner

Anna Dorros is a partner in the Real Estate, Land Use and Environmental Practice Group in the firm's San Diego office.

Areas of Practice

Anna has worked extensively with residential and commercial developers in connection with the drafting and preparation of CC&Rs, sales contracts, disclosures and other agreements associated with common interest developments. Anna has also developed commercial condominium documents for use by one of our national commercial developers throughout the United States.

619.338.6510
Alexis L. Jodlowski Real Estate, Land Use and Natural Resources Attorney Sheppard Mullin Law Firm San Diego
Associate

Alexis Jodlowski is an associate in the Real Estate, Land Use and Natural Resources Practice Group in the firm's San Diego office.

Areas of Practice

Alexis is experienced variety of real estate, land use and municipal law matters, including telecommunications permitting and leasing. Her focus is on the representation of commercial, retail and residential developers in residential, mixed use projects, and condominium projects throughout California.

Prior to joining Sheppard Mullin, Alexis served as a City Attorney advising the City of San Diego Development Services Department and Real Estate Assets Department on telecommunications permitting and siting issues. She assisted the City in preparing various telecommunications related agreements, including licenses for the placement of small cells and cell towers on City property. On the permitting side, Alexis advised the City on issues relating to the interplay between local land use and federal telecommunications regulations. She also helped the City develop a new permitting process in response to the FTC’s implementation of the Spectrum Act, a federal statute regulating how local municipalities process permits for certain wireless communication facilities. In addition, Alexis litigated several cases filed under the Federal Telecommunications Act and California Permit Streamlining Act relating to the permitting of cell towers, including American Tower Corporation v. City of San Diego, et al., 763 F.3d 1035 (9th Cir. 2014).

619.338.6520