After running dry of funds due to a surge in applications and borrowing by the state general fund, the California Energy Commission established a waiting list for its New Solar Home Partnership Program. The program provides rebates for solar energy systems on homes and residential buildings. The list\u2019s formation, approved Nov. 16, is due to a jump that began in August in the number of rebate applications and a corresponding financing shortfall. \u201cThe commission finds itself in this somewhat awkward situation because even though technically, on the books, there\u2019s still money for these kinds of activities \u2026 money has been borrowed from time to time from the general fund, and those repayments are expected,\u201d Gabe Herrera with the commission\u2019s legal office said. The waiting list, he said, is a way for the commission to address the immediate shortfall by allowing it to fund projects only when money becomes available. With this week\u2019s action, the commission also approved a set of criteria for being placed on the waiting list. That includes: -Requiring that only completed projects be eligible for funding; -Processing applications on a first come, first-served basis until funds are depleted; and, -Rejecting incomplete applications and returning them to the applicant. The program was launched in 2007. As of Oct.17, 2011, it has paid over $37 million for 4,337 solar energy systems representing 13.3 MW of installed capacity, according to the commission. Also Nov. 16, it was one step forward for a proposed power generation facility, but one step back for a planned solar power plant. The plan allowed to move forward in the permitting process is the Quail Brush Generation Project, a proposed 100 MW intermediate\/peaking load facility that would sit on about 21.5 acres in San Diego. The Energy Commission approved the project\u2019s application for certification, which means it now goes on to a more investigative phase, which includes project analysis. \u201cIt now meets all of the requirements listed in Title 20, California Code of Regulations,\u201d project manager Eric Solorio said. The project applicant, a subsidiary of Cogentrix Energy, says that if the commission ultimately gives the go-ahead, construction of the natural gas-fired plant could take about 15 months and would be complete by June 2014. Another project considered during the business meeting was sent back to the drawing board. Acting on a staff recommendation, the Energy Commission declined to allow the proposed Rio Mesa Solar Electric Generating Facility to move forward. Instead, the proposal was sent back to the applicant for more work so that it can meet state siting requirements. \u201cOf the 23 technical disciplines reviewed, we believe the information contained in the [application] is deficient in five areas--air quality, biological resources, cultural resources, project overview and water resources,\u201d project manager Pierre Martinez said. The Rio Mesa project, which is proposed for about 1,800 acres near the city of Blythe, would consist of three solar fields, with each generating 250 MW. A spokesman for the applicant, BrightSource Energy, said that the company would file most of the requested additional information in the next few days, with the exception being the cultural and biological surveys, because the company hasn\u2019t secured rights-of-entry yet. The majority of the land is privately-owned by the Metropolitan Water District. The remainder is public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The company said it would submit a revised application as soon as possible. BrightSource also is the company behind the 400 MW Ivanpah power plant that\u2019s under construction on 3,600 acres in the Mojave Desert and the Hidden Hills Solar plant, a proposed 500 MW facility that would be located within about 3,200 acres of private land in Inyo County. The project is currently undergoing the commission\u2019s review process.