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Byline: Paul Rogers
Jan. 12--Last year, hybrid cars zoomed toward mainstream popularity. This year, it could be solar power.
In a milestone for renewable energy, California is expected today to make the largest investment in solar power of any state in U.S. history.
Ending more than two years of debate among political leaders, the state Public Utilities Commission is scheduled to take a final vote on a plan to spend $3.2 billion to provide rebates over the next 11 years to homes, businesses, farms and public buildings that install solar energy systems.
Closely based on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's "Million Solar Roofs Initiative," which died in the state Legislature last year, the new initiative will roughly triple the annual amount of state funding to subsidize solar power by tacking a new fee of about $1.10 a month on utility bills.
The goal is to install solar energy on 1 million buildings …