By Charlie Coggeshall -- The past few weeks have brought some relatively encouraging updates regarding the implementation of the state’s community solar program. We can now confidently anticipate stakeholder engagement opportunities around key implementation aspects of the program over the next several months.
Policy Update: Lots Happening; Lots Still to Do
As this update is being written, there is a big effort going on in the legislature to create a new residential solar incentive. A big effort around community solar rulemaking just finished but there’s still a lot of work to do to implement a community solar program.
Legislative Update: The Residential Energy Tax Credit (RETC) will expire at year’s end, but we have the chance to create a new tax credit to help residential customers install solar on their rooftops. The new credit, known as the Residential Incentive for Solar Energy (RISE), will make it easier for residential customer to go solar. We are currently pushing hard to make sure that the new tax credit will be included in the final tax credit bill that the legislature will consider before the session ends.Read more
Community solar offers exciting possibilities to help consumers who can’t put solar on their roof still access the benefits of solar by participating in a larger project and getting a portion of the energy from that project credited to their bill.
The Oregon legislature adopted a community solar policy in February 2016. The Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) was charged with writing rules for the policy. The PUC has held a series of workshops starting in the second half of 2016 and continuing into 2017 as part of an informal process for the community solar rulemaking docket (AR 603). The community solar statute requires that rules for the program be in place by July 1, 2017.
It’s hard to believe it’s already mid-October. While it
seems like a good idea to just sit around sipping all the pumpkin spice
beverages that seem to have invaded the market, things are just too busy for
solar advocates to take it easy. Here are a couple of key things that are
keeping things hopping:
Oregon PUC Draft Solar Report, Community Solar Rulemaking (AR603), Oregon Solar Business Plan, Policy (we need you to rate proposals!), and more.
by Charlie Coggeshall & Rikki Seguin
As reported in OSEIA’s November 2015 newsletter, the Oregon Public Utilities Commission (PUC) submitted formal recommendations to the legislature regarding “Attributes for the Design of a Community Solar Program” at the end of October. OSEIA was engaged in the PUC process which led to those recommendations, of which we are generally supportive of the outcome, though with some suggested revisions.
GTM Research's latest report, U.S. Community Solar Market Outlook 2015-2020, predicts that by 2020 community solar will be an annual half-gigawatt market in the United States.
According to the report, community solar is the next largest growth opportunity in the United States. The new report profiles the states and developers that will help drive the market from tipping point to mainstream.
Support the Oregon SolarPAC!!!
OSEIA has started a political action committee to increase our voice and influence with our decision makers in Salem. Your donation to the Oregon SolarPAC helps expand OSEIA’s capacity to develop a marketplace for the widespread adoption of solar energy in Oregon. More information>