Pilot program for small solar energy systems
- • rules
- • limits to program
- • report to Legislative Assembly
(1) The Public Utility Commission shall establish a pilot program for each electric company to demonstrate the use and effectiveness of volumetric incentive rates and payments for electricity or for the nonenergy attributes of electricity, or both, from solar photovoltaic energy systems that are permanently installed in this state by retail electricity consumers and that first become operational after the program begins. The cumulative nameplate capacity of the qualifying systems enrolled in all of the pilot programs may not exceed 27.5 megawatts of alternating current. Qualifying systems enrolled in the pilot program may not have nameplate generating capacity greater than 500 kilowatts.
(2) The commission by rule shall adopt requirements for the pilot programs described in subsection (1) of this section. Each electric company shall file for commission approval tariff schedules for the pilot programs that conform to the requirements.
(3) The commission may establish incentive rates for the pilot programs to enable the development of the most efficient solar photovoltaic energy systems.
(4) A retail electricity consumer participating in a pilot program may receive payments based on electricity generated from solar photovoltaic energy system output for 15 years from the consumer’s date of enrollment in the program, at rates or through a rate formula in a tariff schedule established at the time of enrollment, or at rates otherwise established at the time of enrollment. The consumer thereafter may receive payments based upon electricity generated from the qualifying system at a rate equal to the resource value.
(5) The commission may adjust the tariff schedule as needed for new pilot program participants for the purpose of meeting the goal established in subsection (1) of this section. Once a retail electricity consumer is enrolled in a program, the rates or rate formula for determining payments to the consumer may not be modified.
(6) The commission may adopt and adjust a percentage goal for capacity deployed by residential and small commercial qualifying systems based upon the costs of the energy generated, the feasibility of attaining the goal and other factors. For purposes of attaining the goal described in this subsection, the commission shall require 2.5 megawatts of alternating current from the cumulative nameplate capacity of qualifying systems to be generated by individual systems with a nameplate generating capacity between five and 100 kilowatts.
(7) The commission may establish total generator nameplate capacity limits for an electric company so that the rate impact of the pilot program for any customer class does not exceed 0.25 percent of the electric company’s revenue requirement for the class in any year.
(8) Ownership of renewable energy certificates established under ORS 469A.130 (Renewable energy certificates system) that are associated with renewable energy generation under the pilot programs must be transferred to the electric company and may be used to comply with the renewable portfolio standard described in ORS 469A.052 (Large utility renewable portfolio standard) or 469A.055 (Small electric utilities).
(9) To the extent that rates paid under a pilot program exceed the resource value, qualifying systems participating in the pilot programs are not eligible for expenditures under ORS 757.612 (Requirements for public purpose expenditures) (3)(b)(B) or tax credits under ORS 469B.100 (Definitions for ORS 469B.100 to 469B.118) to 469B.118 (Forfeiture of tax credits) or 469B.130 (Definitions for ORS 469B.130 to 469B.169 and 469B.171) to 469B.169 (Suspension or revocation of certificate).
(10) All prudently incurred costs associated with compliance with this section are recoverable in the rates of an electric company.
(11) The commission shall advise and assist the owners and operators of qualifying systems in identifying and using grants, incentive moneys, federal funding and other sources of noninvestment financial support for the construction and operation of qualifying systems.
(12) The pilot programs described in subsection (1) of this section close to new participants on the earlier of:
(a) March 31, 2016; or
(b) The date the cumulative nameplate capacity of solar photovoltaic energy systems that have been permanently installed by retail electricity consumers under the pilot programs equals 27.5 megawatts of alternating current.
(13) The commission shall submit a report to the Legislative Assembly by January 1 of each odd-numbered year. The report must evaluate the effectiveness of the pilot programs described in subsection (1) of this section compared to the effectiveness of expenditures under ORS 757.612 (Requirements for public purpose expenditures) (3)(b)(B) or tax credits under ORS 469B.100 (Definitions for ORS 469B.100 to 469B.118) to 469B.118 (Forfeiture of tax credits) or 469B.130 (Definitions for ORS 469B.130 to 469B.169 and 469B.171) to 469B.169 (Suspension or revocation of certificate) for promoting the use of solar photovoltaic energy systems and reducing system costs. The report must also estimate the cost of the program to retail electricity consumers and the resource value of solar energy. [2009 c.748 §2; 2010 c.78 §2; 2013 c.244 §§1,3]
Note: See note under 757.360 (Definitions for ORS 757.360 to 757.380).
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