CPUC admits defeat on NEM 3.0, seeks feedback on new proposals

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit
Email
The previously proposed net metering laws would have significantly reduced the benefits of installing rooftop PV for solar customers in California. Image: CSIRO.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has admitted defeat regarding its contentious proposed changes to the state’s net metering laws and has asked for feedback on how a better designed system could work as it seeks to reboot the process.

Dubbed NEM 3.0, the proposed changes would have slashed solar export credits by about 80% and added a US$57 per month fixed charge for the average residential system, partially offset by a US$15 per month credit for ten years. Wood Mackenzie said it would have cut the state’s solar sector in half.

This article requires Premium SubscriptionBasic (FREE) Subscription

Unlock unlimited access for 12 whole months of distinctive global analysis

Photovoltaics International is now included.

  • Regular insight and analysis of the industry’s biggest developments
  • In-depth interviews with the industry’s leading figures
  • Unlimited digital access to the PV Tech Power journal catalogue
  • Unlimited digital access to the Photovoltaics International journal catalogue
  • Access to more than 1,000 technical papers
  • Discounts on Solar Media’s portfolio of events, in-person and virtual

Or continue reading this article for free

The CPUC decided to indefinitely delay its decision on the changes in February following significant backlash from consumer groups, trade bodies and Californian politicians, who called for a “dramatically revised policy”.

Now, the CPUC wants feedback regarding what the new system should look like. Administrative-law judge Kelly Hymes reopened the record in a ruling on Monday (9 May) to garner insights on three separate areas, with opening comments given a one month deadline of 10 June (24 June for reply comments).  

It is looking for feedback on a “glide path”, which relates to “proposals to transition customers from the existing net energy metering tariff to a successor tariff”. Feedback is being sought on the advantages of using a fixed dollar per Watt Market Transition Credit (MTC) versus an hourly, averaged Avoided Cost Calculator (ACC), among other things.

The regulator also asked for feedback on ‘Non-Bypassable Charges’, which are fixed fees designed to compensate utilities for maintaining the state’s grid system, which was one of the key drivers for the previous NEM 3.0 system as utilities complained it was too favourable to solar customers at the expense of the rest of the population.  

The third area the CPUC is seeking input on is community distributed energy resources (DERs). The CPUC currently offers a community solar program for low-income customers living in disadvantaged communities through the Community Solar Green Tariff (CSGT) programme, which it is now reassessing as part of the new proposals.

It said a number of Californian utilities were submitting ‘Applications for Review’ of the CSGT program by 31 May, which may include “proposals to expand the capacity, the locational eligibility requirement and customer eligibility criteria, and technology eligibility for this programme”.

The ruling and a full list of questions set by the CPUC can be accessed here.

8 October 2024
San Francisco Bay Area, USA
PV Tech has been running an annual PV CellTech Conference since 2016. PV CellTech USA, on 8-9 October 2024 is our second PV CellTech conference dedicated to the U.S. manufacturing sector. The event in 2023 was a sell out success and 2024 will once again gather the key stakeholders from PV manufacturing, equipment/materials, policy-making and strategy, capital equipment investment and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out PV manufacturing in the U.S. out to 2030 and beyond.

Read Next

May 24, 2024
Ørsted has closed a US$680 million tax equity financing with JP Morgan for a solar project, alongside a solar-plus-storage project.
May 24, 2024
US power distribution company Entergy Louisiana has received approval from the Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC) to add up to 3GW of solar PV.
May 24, 2024
US independent power producer Pivot Energy and electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Rivian have partnered to build 60MW of community solar in Illinois, US.
May 23, 2024
Spanish firm Acciona Energía has commissioned its 458WM Red-Tailed Hawk PV project in the US state of Texas.
May 23, 2024
The flurry of recent tariff changes for solar imports to the US is likely to make products from Southeast Asia less attractive to buyers, according to renewables analysis firm Clean Energy Associates (CEA).
Premium
May 23, 2024
How VPPs could help reduce solar PV curtailment in California, while also helping financially to install a solar array and storage.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
May 29, 2024
11am (EDT) / 5pm (CEST)
Solar Media Events
June 4, 2024
London, UK
Upcoming Webinars
June 11, 2024
3:00 PM (BST) / 4:00 PM (CEST)
Solar Media Events
July 2, 2024
Athens, Greece