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New Solar Export Credit Rates Proposed

New Solar Export Credit Rates Proposed
05 February 2020

Rocky Mountain Power recently proposed new export credit rates for future rooftop solar customers.  The proposal, submitted to the Utah Public Service Commission, is to reduce the compensation that new solar customers receive for the clean energy they export to the grid to 1.56 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). The proposal is an 84% reduction compared to the current solar credit of 9.2 cents per kWh.   Utah Clean Energy's team of experts, along with fellow solar advocates, fully intend to counter this proposal.Screen Shot 2020 02 05 at 3.03.48 PM

If approved, this rate would apply to all new solar customers who apply for an interconnection agreement either:

  1. after the cap for the current rate is reached,
  2. after the Public Service Commission issues an order in the docket after October 9, 2020, or
  3. starting January 1, 2021, whichever comes first. 

A tracker measuring progress towards the cap is available at https://www.rockymountainpower.net/savings-energy-choices/customer-generation/megawatt-capacity.html. Once the amount of residential and small business rooftop solar reaches 170 MW, the new rate will apply to any customers who apply to install solar after that point.

If you're thinking about installing solar, you may be wondering, "What does this all mean?" In short, now is the time to install! Customers currently with solar, or that apply for an interconnection to install solar before the current program closes, will continue receiving the 9.2 cents per kWh rate through 2032.

If approved, this drastic change will make it unaffordable for average Utah families to go solar. This means that few - if any - Utahns can own their power and enjoy the benefits of resilient solar, generated on their own rooftop. Furthermore, the proposed new credits will have devastating effects on Utah’s solar industry, which provides thousands of local jobs. 

“Many families install rooftop solar to own their energy, locking in energy rates to hedge against the changing energy market. But rooftop solar also benefits all Utahns. When we add more clean, locally-produced energy to the grid, everybody wins. Rooftop solar creates thousands of local jobs, improves energy resiliency in our communities, and reduces risk from increases to fuel prices. Rocky Mountain Power’s assessment of what solar is worth doesn’t reflect any of these long-term or community-wide benefits.” Utah Clean Energy's Renewable Energy Program Manager, Kate Bowman.  

Utah Clean Energy’s solar experts will be submitting our own proposal for a rate for rooftop solar customers to the Public Service Commission on March 3. In the meantime, below are a few key points about the filing.  

DETAILS ABOUT ROCKY MOUNTAIN POWER’S PROPOSED SOLAR EXPORT CREDIT

New Rates

  • Rooftop solar customers receive a credit from the utility for every kilowatt-hour of energy exported to the grid.
  • RMP is proposing an average export credit rate of 1.526 cents per kWh. This equals an 84% reduction compared to the current rate.

This would be applied differentially, based on the time of day and season

  • Summer on peak (June – September, 4PM – 8PM)
    • 2.6293 cents per kWh
  • Summer off peak (June – September, all other hours)
    • 1.7080 cents per kWh
  • Winter on peak: (October – May, 4PM – 8PM)
    • 2.2409 cents per kWh
  • Winter off peak: (October – May, all other hours)
    • 1.3247 cents per kWh
  • Prices would be updated annually, so customer rates will change annually.

New/Changed Fees

  • Proposes a one-time, non-refundable application fee of $150
  • Proposes a one-time customer generation meter fee of $160
  • Proposes real-time or instantaneous netting of exported energy (instead of 15 min, hourly, monthly, etc).
  • This rate would apply to anyone who submits an interconnection agreement starting January 1, 2021.