Oregon Commission signals a green light for community solar


In Oregon, the PUC has signified the need for a near-term solution to kickstart the state’s community solar program. On March 19, the PUC issued an Order finding that there is “good cause” for the development of an interim alternative bill credit rate for the community solar program and that the PUC has the authority to adopt a bill credit rate other than one that reflects the Resource Value of Solar (RVOS). The PUC observed that the development of final RVOS values was not likely to be completed until September 2018, assuming there are no further scheduling delays. Furthermore, the PUC noted that RVOS rates filed in initial testimony by the utilities were widely considered unlikely to result in subscription offers being made available to customers.

Accordingly, the PUC directed Staff to provide the PUC with at least three alternative bill credit proposals, with various options, through a report filed by April 10. The PUC also offered a bulleted list of general observations about past PUC actions and proposals for Staff consideration. Notably, the PUC stated, “[a]lthough we would find a retail rate based solution unsatisfactory for the long term, an interim rate based on the retail rate modified in a manner that could take into account our desire not to over-incent projects with significant economies of scale would be something worthy of consideration.” The PUC said it intends to consider the alternative bill credit proposal at the April 24 public meeting.