Your Name Is Smud
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s internationally known solar power program is in shambles, having exceeded its budget and lost its long-term leader. The utility district had planned to spend $3.2 million in 2002 to help homeowners, businesses, government offices, and nonprofits install photovoltaic panels, to reach a goal of producing an additional 2 megawatts of power from PV systems this year. Now, however, after a string of accounting and planning problems, SMUD will spend more than twice that amount to reach just 60 percent of its goal. Utility officials say they are still determined to salvage the program, but others are doubtful about a revival. Because SMUD was a leader in the field, some fear the solar power industry in general could suffer as a result of the program’s decline.