At a time when photo voltaic vitality is (seemingly) being prioritized by the federal authorities, the state that has led the photo voltaic cost is seeking to scale issues again.
The California Public Utilities Fee (CPUC) launched a revised web vitality metering (NEM) proposed resolution in November, and this revised NEM 3.0 appears (primarily based on what we’re listening to) is more likely to cross. The large win for the photo voltaic business on this model is the removing of the egregious grid participation cost. Incentives for battery attachments additionally standout as constructive. However issues concerning the sizable discount of the worth of photo voltaic persist, particularly the per kilowatt-hour (kWh) value for photo voltaic vitality contributed again to the grid (the export price).
At the moment, beneath at present’s NEM program, the blended common export price in California ranges from $0.23 per kW to $0.35 per kW, relying on the utility. In accordance with CALSSA and the Save California Photo voltaic Marketing campaign, the proposed resolution launched by the CPUC on November tenth would lower the worth of photo voltaic exports to between $0.08 per kW to $.05 per kW, relying on the utility — a 76% lower in exports, on common, for residential shoppers. Export values would drop to $0.05 per kW for non-residential clients.
This drop (by CALSSA’s math, the biggest in U.S. historical past) contains the so-called “ACC Plus” adder, which provides $0.02 to $0.04 per kW within the first yr of the brand new web metering program. Listed here are some charts to higher clarify:
Chart 1: Common Export Fee within the NEM-3 Proposed Choice, Non-CARE Residential and Industrial, Together with the “Adder” for Sure Residential Customers
Chart 2: Reductions in NEM Export Charges Together with the First Yr of the “ACC Plus” Adder for Residential Clients in SCE and PG&E Territories. No adder is proposed for non-residential clients or residential clients of SDG&E.
Time shifting an abundance of photo voltaic PV and flattening that duck curve (or extra successfully utilizing this useful, distributed vitality) is certainly an essential long run aim for the grid. However a dramatic drop within the export price might curtail the adoption of photo voltaic, primarily based on how different drastic export price drops have affected photo voltaic adoption in different markets:
- An try to roll again web metering in Nevada led to 2 years of instability and decline within the state’s photo voltaic market. A research filed by California’s investor-owned utilities as half of the present NEM 3.0 continuing discovered that Nevada’s January 2016 minimize to web metering compensation resulted in a 47% discount in residential photo voltaic installations over the subsequent yr (in contrast with the 12 months previous the change).
- In Hawaii, ending web metering in 2015 led to a pointy slowdown within the state’s booming rooftop photo voltaic business. Hawaii put in roughly half as a lot residential rooftop photo voltaic between 2015 and 2018 because it had within the earlier three years.
- In California, the Imperial Irrigation District deserted web metering in July 2016, inflicting residential photo voltaic installations to say no 88%.
- In California, the Modesto Irrigation District lowered web metering compensation in January 2017. Over the course of the subsequent year-and-a-half, residential photo voltaic installations fell 64%.
- In California, the Turlock Irrigation District ended web metering at first of 2015. Inside two years, annual residential photo voltaic installations had declined 74%.
A solar-rich state like California undoubtedly must extra successfully make the most of its peak photo voltaic manufacturing and time shift that vitality manufacturing / flatten that duck curve. And Hawaii’s market has discovered a compelling frequent floor that’s helped its grid and put in extra batteries. However it took time and compromise. Is eradicating the “carrot” from California photo voltaic adopters by this a lot — and proper now — the appropriate strategy? Photo voltaic is lastly being prioritized by the federal authorities to extra shortly fight local weather change and shift our vitality combine, so one would anticipate photo voltaic’s main state to take the ball and run with it as a substitute of punting.