California Governor Jerry Brown is expected to sign a bill that simplifies the permitting process for solar photovoltaic projects and may prompt developers to reconsider solar-thermal plants, which aren’t included in the legislation.
According to Senate Bill 267, which Brown has until Nov. 9 to sign, photovoltaic projects will no longer be required to demonstrate adequate water supplies. Wind farms are also included in the bill.
Falling photovoltaic prices have made them less expensive than solar-thermal systems, which focus the sun’s rays to create steam that drives a turbine and generates electricity. Eliminating the paperwork will shave as much as six months from the approval process. Three California solar-thermal projects have switched to photovoltaic panels, which convert sunlight into electricity, and more may follow suit.
Read More: California Bill Favors Solar Panels, Thermal Left Out in Cold via Bloomberg