2017 ORS 757.386¹
Program for procurement of electricity from community solar projects
  • rules

(1) For purposes of this section:

(a) “Community solar project” means one or more solar photovoltaic energy systems that provide owners and subscribers the opportunity to share the costs and benefits associated with the generation of electricity by the solar photovoltaic energy systems.

(b) “Electric company” has the meaning given that term in ORS 757.600 (Definitions for ORS 757.600 to 757.689).

(c) “Owner” means a customer of an electric company who has proportionate ownership of part of a community solar project, such as direct ownership of one or more solar panels or shared ownership of the infrastructure of the community solar project.

(d) “Project manager” means the entity identified as having responsibility for managing the operation of a community solar project and, if applicable, for maintaining contact with the electric company that procures electricity from the community solar project. A project manager may be:

(A) An electric company; or

(B) An independent third party.

(e) “Solar photovoltaic energy system” means equipment and devices that have the primary purpose of collecting solar energy and generating electricity by photovoltaic effect.

(f) “Subscriber” means a customer of an electric company who proportionately leases part of a community solar project for a minimum of 10 years.

(2)(a) The Public Utility Commission shall establish by rule a program for the procurement of electricity from community solar projects. As part of the program, the commission shall:

(A) Adopt rules prescribing what qualifies a community solar project to participate in the program;

(B) Certify qualified community solar projects for participation in the program;

(C) Prescribe the form and manner by which project managers may apply for certification under the program; and

(D) Require, by rule or order, electric companies to enter into a 20-year power purchase agreement with a certified community solar project.

(b) The commission shall adopt rules under paragraph (a)(A) of this subsection that, at a minimum:

(A) Incentivize consumers of electricity to be owners or subscribers;

(B) Minimize the shifting of costs from the program to ratepayers who do not own or subscribe to a community solar project;

(C) Where an electric company is the project manager, protect owners and subscribers from undue financial hardship; and

(D) Protect the public interest.

(c) The commission may suspend the program adopted under this subsection if the commission has good cause to suspend the program.

(3) A community solar project:

(a) Must have at least one solar photovoltaic energy system with a minimum generating capacity of 25 kilowatts;

(b) Must be located in this state; and

(c) May be located anywhere in this state.

(4) A project manager may offer ownership in or subscriptions to a community solar project only to consumers of electricity that are located:

(a) In this state; and

(b) In the service territory of an electric company.

(5)(a) A project manager may offer proportional ownership in or proportional subscriptions to a community solar project in any amount that does not exceed a potential owner’s or potential subscriber’s average annual consumption of electricity.

(b) Any value associated with the generation of electricity in excess of an offer to own or subscribe to a community solar project as limited by paragraph (a) of this subsection must be used by the electric company procuring electricity from the community solar project in support of low-income residential customers of the electric company.

(6)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection, an electric company shall credit an owner’s or subscriber’s electric bill for the amount of electricity generated by a community solar project for the owner or subscriber in a manner that reflects the resource value of solar energy. For purposes of this paragraph, the commission shall determine the resource value of solar energy.

(b) The commission may adopt a rate for an electric company to use in crediting an owner’s or subscriber’s electric bill other than the rate described in paragraph (a) of this subsection if the commission has good cause to adopt the different rate.

(7)(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, owners and subscribers shall bear the costs and benefits of constructing and operating a community solar project.

(b) Costs incurred by an electric company under the terms of a power purchase agreement entered into pursuant to subsection (2)(a)(D) of this section are recoverable in the rates of the electric company. Moneys collected pursuant to imposing those rates, under the terms of a power purchase agreement entered into pursuant to subsection (2)(a)(D) of this section, may be transferred to a project manager for the purpose of operating a community solar project.

(c) All start-up costs prudently incurred during the development or modification of the program established under this section are recoverable in the rates of an electric company.

(d) Owners and subscribers shall bear all ongoing costs incurred during the continued administration of the program established under this section.

(8) Owners and subscribers own all renewable energy certificates established under ORS 469A.130 (Renewable energy certificates system) that are associated with the generation of electricity by a community solar project, in proportion to the owner’s proportional ownership in or the subscriber’s proportional subscription to the community solar project.

(9) As part of the program established under this section, the commission shall:

(a) Determine a methodology by which 10 percent of the total generating capacity of the community solar projects operated under the program will be made available for use by low-income residential customers of electricity; and

(b) Periodically review and adjust the percentage described in paragraph (a) of this subsection. [2016 c.28 §22]

Note: 757.386 (Program for procurement of electricity from community solar projects) was enacted into law by the Legislative Assembly but was not added to or made a part of ORS chapter 757 or any series therein by legislative action. See Preface to Oregon Revised Statutes for further explanation.

Note: Section 28, chapter 28, Oregon Laws 2016, provides:

Sec. 28. On or before January 1, 2019, the Public Utility Commission shall report on the implementation of section 22 of this 2016 Act [757.386 (Program for procurement of electricity from community solar projects)] to the interim committees of the Legislative Assembly related to business and energy. As part of the report, the commission may make recommendations for legislation. The commission shall submit the report in the manner required by ORS 192.245 (Form of report to legislature). [2016 c.28 §28]

Chapter 757

Notes of Decisions

Under regulatory scheme, Public Utility Commissioner has authority to promulgate rule limiting telephone company’s liability for directory listing errors or omissions. Garrison v. Pacific NW Bell, 45 Or App 523, 608 P2d 1206 (1980)

Refund is proper exercise of Public Utility Commission’s general powers if refund (1) is based only on in­for­ma­­tion in existence at time of rate order for which refund is being made; (2) is not based on evalua­tion of public utility’s actual expenses or revenues; and (3) is not effectuated by offsetting future rates. Gearhart v. Public Utility Commission, 255 Or App 58, 299 P3d 533 (2013), aff’d 356 Or 216, 339 P3d 904 (2014)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Authority of Governor and Public Utility Commissioner to enter into binding agree­ments with respect to uniform curtail­ment plans, (1977) Vol 38, p 861

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 757—Utility Regulation Generally, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors757.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 757, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano757.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.