As solar cap looms, installers ask CA regulators for interim metering measures
- The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Net Energy Metering 2.0 proceeding is required to create a new program to reward solar owners for the electricity their systems send to the grid by the end of the year, but the San Diego Union Tribune reports that a cap on rooftop solar installations could be reached before that new program is devised.
- California’s present net energy metering (NEM) policy provides retail rate remuneration for solar energy until the “total installed NEM capacity in a utility territory exceeds 5% of its aggregate customer peak demand.”
- Installers in San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) territory are concerned the cap may be reached before a new policy is in place. SDG&E was at 3.79% of its 5%, or 607 MW, cap on August 31, with 407 MW either installed or in the utility’s interconnection queue. If the cap is reached and a new policy is not authorized, installation activity is likely to come to a stop.
Southern California Edison (SCE) was at 2.8% of its 5%, or 2,240 MW, cap on August 31, with 1,258.3 MW either installed or in its interconnection queue. Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) was at 3.4% of its 5%, or 2409 MW, cap, with 1,636.8 MW installed or in its queue.
Solar providers in San Diego say SDG&E’s NEM cap could be reached relatively soon. Local installers have joined with national companies like SolarCity, SunPower, and Sungevity to request the commission offer an extension of the current policy until three months after a new one is in place, and provide official assurances to customers caught in the breach.
Though reaching the cap would stop installation activity, installers say that approaching it could harm their businesses as well. As total installations approach the cap, marketing efforts might be threatened if potential customers cannot be sure whether the present or the new policy applies.
- San Diego Union-Tribune Rooftop solar companies sound alarm