Carmanah Commends Newly Approved California Solar Initiative

January 31, 2006
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Carmanah Technologies Corporation is pleased to note that the California Solar Initiative (CSI) was approved by a 3–1 vote by the California Public Utilities Commission on January 12, making it the largest solar energy policy in U.S. history and effectively tripling California’s annual subsidy to solar energy. The initiative will invest $3.8 billion in solar power over the next decade and could make California the largest solar market in the world.

“California is one of the world’s 10 largest economies and represents about 80 per cent of the U.S. solar market, which is the third largest after Japan and Germany,” said Carmanah’s CEO Art Aylesworth. “This has tremendous significance for the photovoltaic industry globally and especially for any company operating in California.”

The CSI provides $2.8 billion in subsidies for solar systems for existing residential, commercial industrial and agricultural buildings, plus $400 million for new residential projects. By subsidizing $2.80 per watt for systems between 1 kilowatt and 1 Megawatt in size, California aims to add an average of 300 Megawatts of photovoltaic capacity per year, equaling over 3,000 Megawatts by 2017—the equivalent of about six large natural gas–fired power plants. By comparison, total global solar electricity growth for 2004 was 927 Megawatts; Germany installed 366 and Japan installed 277.

Solar electricity will provide energy security and help California meet its ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets set in June 2005, to cut emissions to 80 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050.

Carmanah Technologies is well established in the California market. The company has over 1,000 units of its solar-powered LED lights installed by transit authorities around Los Angeles. Carmanah solar-powered LED taxiway edge lighting saves the Truckee Tahoe Airport more than $16,000 every year in energy bills. Specifically, Carmanah has more than 20 years of technical experience in the design and supply of the types of solar electric systems that the CSI promotes.

Among the products that will be subsidized under the CSI are the popular GREEN GRIDTIEâ„¢ home photovoltaic systems sold by Carmanah’s Solar Power Systems Division—formerly Soltek Powersource Ltd. A typical 3 kilowatt home system costing $25,000 would receive a $8,400 subsidy. In addition, other government or utility incentives can be claimed on the same project, such as the U.S. Federal Energy Bill Solar Tax Credit, which would provide an additional $2,000.

Tens of thousands of California homes and businesses already have grid tie systems, which allow them to generate some of their own electricity and put any surplus back into the grid to reduce their electricity bills. The CSI will make these systems much more affordable and attractive.

Carmanah’s newly expanded office in Santa Cruz, California, provides a sales and warehouse facility ideally located to take advantage of this tremendous growth opportunity in solar power.

“We are perfectly positioned in what could become the epicenter of solar energy in the next decade and we look forward to increasing orders and revenue from our California operations,” said Aylesworth.

For more information about Carmanah, please visit or contact the California office directly at:

Carmanah Technologies Corporation

Toll-free: 1-800-685-7940 (USA and Canada)

Worldwide: (831) 440-9313

Fax: (831) 440-9345


360 El Pueblo Suite 101

Scotts Valley

Santa Cruz, CA

USA 95066