Oregon Solar News

PUC Solar Report Heads to the Legislature


The Oregon Public Utility Commission has released its 3rd and final draft of their much anticipated solar incentives report. It heads to the legislature on October 28th.

The 1st draft of the report was met with a lot of criticism from many stakeholders, especially the solar industry. The final report is no longer viewed as dangerous but we still have much work to do.

The 2017 legislative session begins on February 1, 2017 and OSEIA will be prepared, with our Oregon Solar Business Plan in hand, to provide additional support for the continuation of existing solar programs and the development of new ones.

Solar Industry Represents at PUC Special Public Meeting


As you all know, we've been spending a lot of time lately pushing back on the first draft of the solar report the PUC is preparing for the legislature. The second draft came out earlier this month and while it's still not great, there was some movement. Today was an opportunity to present information directly to the commissioners as part of the feedback process....

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Policy Update: The Busy is About to Get Busier

There was a time when the “dog days of summer” really did mean ”a period marked by lethargy, inactivity, or indolence.” But the summer of 2016 was marked by anything but inactivity on the policy front. And it’s about to get busier.

Summary:

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Oregon's energy department joins critics ripping PUC report that would shrink solar incentives


The Oregon Department of Energy has joined renewable energy advocates in slamming a draft Public Utility Commission report that recommends significant changes to two major solar incentives – but the report did find a pair of supporters: Portland General Electric and PacifiCorp.

In its draft report to the legislature, the commission characterized the Oregon solar industry as “robust” and nearly ready to thrive with reduced support from utility ratepayers.

The Department of Energy, in comments filed Wednesday with the PUC, painted a different picture.

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OSEIA Comments on First Draft Solar Report, UM 1758


10 August 2016

Via Electronic Filing

Public Utilities Commission of Oregon Attn: Filing Center

PUC.FilingCenter@state.or.us

Re: In the Matter of PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION OF OREGON,
Report to the Legislature on Incentives for Development and use of Solar Photovoltaic Energy Systems. Open via House Bill 2941.
Docket No. UM 1758

Dear Filing Center:

Enclosed for filing in the above-referenced docket is the Oregon Solar Energy Industries (OSEIA)’s Written Comments in Response to the First Draft Solar Report. Please contact me if you have any questions.

Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

Sincerely,

Jeff Bissonnette

Full comment report here.

Solar Industry Remains Critical of PUC Draft Solar Report


Oregon’s solar trade association filed comments today leveling serious criticisms in the state Public Utility Commission (PUC) proceeding that is developing a report on solar incentives for the legislature.

The Oregon Solar Energy Industries Association (OSEIA) said that it “regrets that the process has been significantly below the Commission’s usual standard of excellent public process and the draft product reflects that poor process.”

“Frankly, I was shocked at both the quality and the content of the draft report,” exclaimed Jeff Bissonnette, OSEIA’s executive director. “This is not what we’re accustomed to seeing from the PUC. Instead of thoughtful analysis that moves the conversation forward, we got a draft report full of unsubstantiated assumptions and wild guesses at the future of solar in Oregon.”

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OSEIA Slams PUC’s Draft Solar Report


In 2015, the Oregon legislature passed a bill instructing the Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) to produce a report that evaluated various solar incentives. The PUC opened a docket (UM 1758) as the process to produce that report. A draft report came out late last week and, sadly, the draft reflects the process that produced it: poorly thought out with questionable conclusions. Because of this, the solar industry is pushing back hard.

OSEIA released a statement about the process leading to the draft report, comparing it to “a student who procrastinated on a school assignment.” That statement can be found here. If you want to read the draft report itself, you can find it here.

OSEIA staff has reviewed the draft several times and will submit comments by next week in accordance with the docket schedule. Those comments will make several key points:

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OSEIA Criticizes Utility Regulators for Flawed Process

For Immediate Release -- Oregon’s statewide solar trade association sharply criticized the process that led to today’s release of a draft report, comparing a state utility regulatory agency to “a student who procrastinated on a school assignment.”

The Oregon Solar Energy Industries Association’s (OSEIA) comments came on the heels of a draft report released today by the Oregon Public Utility Commission that suggested “potentially radical” changes in Oregon’s solar energy policy. The commission is developing the report in response to House Bill 2941 passed in the 2015 session of the Oregon legislature. The legislation directed the commission to evaluate a range of solar programs and submit its report by September 15, 2016.

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Policy Update

6.10.16 - Earlier this year, the legislative arena was the main focus of activity on the policy front. Since the legislature adjourned in February, the policy activity has moved to the Public Utility Commission. Rulemaking is getting underway around the expanded Renewable Energy Standard, community solar, and small-scale renewables.

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Seeking Ideas to Improve VIR Payments


OSEIA member, Peter Greenberg is gathering suggestions from VIR participants to help the program make a little more sense to eventually present to the Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) all at once in a coordinated way.

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Policy Update 4/19/16


From the desk of Jeff Bissonnette, Executive Director - As we’ve now moved well out of the legislative session, the pace of policy work has slowed to the more deliberate pace of rulemaking but the load is just as heavy. Before we dive into the issues themselves, activity around the membership of the Oregon Public Utility Commission needs to be mentioned.

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