This page includes the CSI RD&D program administrative documents, including a timeline of activities, frequently asked questions, and program summary descriptions.

The CSI RD&D program is managed by Itron, Inc. under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission and accounts managed by Pacific Gas & Electric.

Program Contacts

  • CSI RD&D Program Manager (Itron) : Smita.Gupta @ itron.com

Download Program Factsheet (PDF)

Program information


  • Program factsheet
  • Grid Interation factsheet
  • Solar Technology factsheet
  • Innovative business model factsheet
  • Cross cutting factsheet

Summary sheets for all projects [coming soon]


Workshops and hosted events

High Penetration Solar Forum - jointly hosted with DOE

  • First Hi Pen Solar Forum - San Diego Mar 2011
  • Second Hi Pen Solar Forum - San Diego Feb 2013

Webinars to present end of project and significant research results - over 25 webinars


News and media articles


Conference papers and presentations


On January 12, 2006, The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) established a budget for the California Solar Initiative (CSI) Research, Development, Demonstration and Deployment Program (RD&D) to help achieve the CSI's goal of installing three thousand megawatts of distributed solar by 2016. The CPUC's intent for RD&D is to "explore solar technologies and other distributed generation technologies that employ or could employ solar for power generation and storage or to offset natural gas usage, as well as market development strategies."

On August 21, 2006, the Legislature adopted the "Million Solar Roofs" bill (SB1) which directed the CPUC "to allocate not more than $50 million to research, development, and demonstration that explores as part of the CSI:

  1. solar technologies, or
  2. other distributed generation technologies that employ or could employ solar energy for generation or storage of electricity or to offset natural gas usage."

After issuing an RFP for program management in Spring 2008, the CPUC signed a contract with Itron in November. The project team is currently conducting industry and market studies to identify the highest priority research, development, and deployment opportunities. These findings will inform the first round of funding and lay the groundwork for a solar RD&D roadmap for California.

The overall goal of the RD&D funds is to help build a sustainable and self-supporting industry for customer-sited solar in California. This goal includes two key outcomes:

  • Move the market from the current retail solar price of $9/watt or about 30 cents/kWh to levels that are comparable to the retail price of electricity.
  • Install increasing volumes of solar DG that build from the current range of 40+MW per year to 350 MW or more per year.

The funds will be used to fill critical needs or gaps in the market to facilitate greatly expanded market penetration of cost-effective solar applications.


CPUC Decision establishing the RD&D Program [Decision 07-09-042] [Appendix] Sept 20, 2007


Ways to Receive CSI RD&D Updates

  • Email your name and address to Info [at] CalSolarResearch.ca.gov with "subscribe to outreach list" in the subject line.
  • Subscribe to the CSI Newsletter and Listserv lists via the GoSolarCalifornia website.  (Scroll down to see the form fields on the left of the page.)
  • Sign up for the CPUC Proceeding R.08-03-008 service list. This list provides subscribers with updates regarding policies, procedures and rules for the CSI as well as the Self-Generation Incentive Program and other distributed generation issues.  More information about this proceeding can be found here:  CSI Public Forums

What is the CSI RD&D?

The California Solar Initiative (CSI) has a goal to create 3,000 MW* of new, solar-produced electricity by 2016, moving the state toward a cleaner energy future and helping lower the cost of solar systems for consumers. The CSI statewide budget is $3.3 billion over 10 years, and it has three distinct program components. Read more about the CSI here.

To help achieve the California's goal of creating a vibrant solar industry the state legislature created the Research, Development, Demonstration, and Deployment Program (RD&D). This program will invest $50 million to fund solar research and demonstration projects that will measurably reduce the cost and accelerate the installation of solar and other distributed technologies that could employ solar for generation, storage, or that could reduce the use of natural gas.

* This includes 1,940 MW from the CSI Program, 360 MW from the New Solar Homes Partnership, and 700 MW from the Publicly Owned Utility Programs.

November 9, 2009 - CSI RD&D Program Strategy Workshop
Itron, as Program Manager for the CSI RD&D, is conducted the first Program Strategy Workshop on behalf of the CPUC.

Download the Program Strategy Workshop Presentation.

Purpose: - Provide an overview of the goals and objectives of the CSI RD&D Program
- Provide a status on activities conducted to date on the program
- Compare the program status against the goals and objectives
- Obtain feedback
Date/Time: Wednesday, November 18, 1:30–3:30 P.M. (PST)
Venue: PG&E's Pacific Energy Center, Green Room
851 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

Reference document: CSI RD&D Adopted Plan

2010 Schedule
(Estimate) Second grant funding solicitation awards to be announced
CPUC Resolution E-4317 approves first grant funding solicitation awards 3/11/2010
Second grant funding solicitation proposals due 2/16/2010
CPUC Draft Resolution E-4317 announces first grant funding solicitation awards 1/29/2010