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Articles by Julie Cart, CalMatters

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This story was originally published by CalMatters.

California’s utilities regulator adopted new rules for community solar projects on Friday, despite warnings from clean energy advocates that the move will actually undercut efforts to expand solar power options for low-income customers.

The state’s biggest utility companies advocated for the new rules.

Community solar projects are generally small-scale, local solar arrays that can serve renters and homeowners who can’t afford to install their own rooftop solar panels. They are one part of the state’s overall strategy to eventually run the power grid entirely by renewable energy.

The California Public Utilities Commission’s 3-1 ruling preserves and expands programs that will allow any ratepayer to subscribe to a pool of projects and receive a 20 percent rate reduction, said Commission President Alice Reynolds. But it also reduces future compensation for solar providers and residents.

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