Salem, OR – Last week, the Oregon Public Utilities Commission (Commission) approved critical policy elements for Oregon’s long-awaited community solar program. Senate Bill 1547, which Oregon’s legislature passed in March 2016, instructed the Commission to create a community solar program that incentivized customer participation. The Commission’s decision diverged significantly from Commission Staff’s recommendations by reducing the program’s bill credit value and reduced the initial size of the program.
The Coalition for Community Solar Access (CCSA) released the following statement in response to the Commission’s final decision:
“We are deeply disappointed with the Commission’s decision, which misses an opportunity to unlock access to solar for tens of thousands of Oregon families and businesses. After years of delay before implementation, we were encouraged by Commission Staff’s recent policy proposal, which was grounded in robust market research and driven by the goal to create an equitable opportunity for Oregonians that have not been able to access customer generation opportunities and incentives,” said Jeff Cramer, executive director of CCSA. “Unfortunately, the Commission’s final decision reflects a disregard of Staff’s analysis as well as the support submitted by at least a dozen stakeholder groups in the state, ranging from consumer advocates and municipalities to environmental and renewable energy organizations. It’s a discouraging result for stakeholders that have engaged in a multi-year development process with Commission staff and the Program Administrator. We hope that the PUC will reconsider this decision and allow for the creation of a robust program that can offer all Oregonians the opportunity to access community solar.”