During the meeting, Commissioner Michael Picker, president of the CPUC, said the successor program maintains a full retail net energy metering structure that allows all customers to receive full credit for renewable energy that they export to the grid, but also establishes mandatory time of use rates for those customers.
“By requiring NEM customers to take time of use rates, we’re setting a stage for a marketplace where rooftop solar is also designed to meet the needs of the grid,” Picker said.
The CPUC voted on an amended proposed decision that was released on Jan. 27. The amendment updated a proposed decision issued in December 2015 that was approved by the CPUC and largely applauded by the solar industry.
Commissioner Mike Florio, who voted not to approve the proposed order, said during the open meeting that he did not like the last-minute exclusion of transmission charges from the proposed order.
“I thought their imposition was a fair offset for the advantage that solar vendors gained through the extension of the investment tax credit,” he said.
Picker said that the successor program adopts a “modest” cost-based interconnection charge so net metering customers “pay their fair share of the cost to connect their solar systems to the grid.” The new program also sets a policy on non-bypassable charges and allows NEM customers to stay on their time of use rates for five years.
SunEdison’s President and Chief Executive Officer Ahmad R. Chatila applauded the integrity of all parties that contributed to the proceedings. “We firmly believe that today’s decision is an important step forward and will help build a stronger, more robust electricity grid which delivers clean, cost effective energy to all of the citizens of California,” he said.
Editor’s Note: RenewableEnergyWorld.com will update to this story as more details unfold.
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