Statement: Governor Newsom signs Solar Access Act

Media Contacts

New California law will catalyze rooftop solar and storage adoption through automated online permitting

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — After signing a package of climate legislation that will accelerate the transition to clean electricity and protect California’s communities from oil and gas wells, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed additional legislation on Friday that will catalyze rooftop solar and storage adoption throughout the state. 

SB 379, the Solar Access Act, will require cities and counties to adopt automated solar permitting systems, which will allow for on-the-spot approvals of residential solar and solar-plus-storage systems. This will greatly decrease wait times for putting up solar panels, cut permitting costs for local governments and homeowners and ultimately help California meet its greenhouse gas emission reduction goals.

SB 379 was co-sponsored by Environment California and SPUR, introduced by Sen. Scott Wiener, and co-authored by Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi. Along with the larger climate package signed on Friday, the Solar Access Act marks a notable commitment by the state to expand renewable energy access and act on climate.

In response, Environment California Clean Energy Advocate Steven King released the following statement: 

“Signing SB 379 into law marks an important step in expanding access to clean, renewable solar energy throughout California. This bill will help cities and counties go big on solar by cutting permitting costs and wait times. With solar permitting legislation passed, it’s exciting that more Californians can now tap into this abundant energy source.

As record-breaking heat waves tax the state’s electric grid, transitioning away from fossil fuels towards renewable energy has never been more urgent. California’s substantial network of rooftop solar and battery storage helped avoid rolling blackouts during the latest heat wave’s peak. Now these technologies will be even easier for consumers to get their hands on. We need to do all we can to eliminate barriers to further adoption of solar and storage. California leads the nation in solar, and now we must keep solar growing by speeding up its deployment and incentivizing consumers to harness the sun’s vast energy potential.”