SDG&E Issues New RFO for Community Solar after Few Bids

Dive Brief:

  • San Diego Gas & Electric has already informed state regulators that it received just two bids in its Enhanced Community Renewables (ECR) solicitation and this month launched another RFO.
  • A blog post at law firm Stoel Rives LLP predicts a slow start for California’s community solar program, which ultimately aims for the state’s three largest investor-owned utilities to procure 600 MW.
  • Power purchase agreements are priced at $0.068/kWh, and along with some other restrictive rules means there have been few bids so far—and possibly no qualifying bids—according to the law firm.

Dive Insight:

California’s community solar program may be in need of some tweaks, but Stoel Rives predicts it will take at least another round of proposals before stakeholders can get together and agree.

“For developers looking to participate in California’s community solar program, it is probably unlikely that any major program revisions will be made in 2017,” wrote Brian Orion and Brian Nese. “It will probably take at least one more RFO showing low participation levels before the stakeholders reach a consensus around the need for program reforms.”

Utilities must hold two RFOs annually, and the next is just starting.

Earlier this month, SDG&E told the California Public Utilities Commission that of the two bids it received in the ECR I solicitation, one was a non-conforming bid and one initially met minimum conformance requirements, “however it did not achieve Enhanced Community Renewables community interest requirements.”

Because the utility did not receive any bids that met all ECR program compliance requirements it will not submit PPAs and instead launched a new solicitation.

SDG&E Issues New RFO for Community Solar after Few Bids, by Robert Walton, UtilityDive, March 30, 2017.

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