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Renewable Energy
Below is information about various renewable energy initiatives currently active with the Public Utility Commission of Oregon.  Each concerns some aspect of renewable energy development. This page will be periodically updated with the most relevant dockets and summaries for those interested in renewable energy in Oregon.
Community Solar
Docket: UM 1930
Community Solar programing allows electric utility customers to participate in solar energy development without physical changes to their homes or properties. Through Community solar programing, groups of customers can band together to subscribe to, or become owners in a solar project not located on their property. Power from the solar project is provided to a utility, and the subscriber or owner receives credit for the energy produced by the project. Community solar program is ideal for customers that desire to support green energy, but don’t have access to property to host a project; such as renters.
Legislation authorizing Oregon’s Community Solar Program was adopted in March of 2016, as part of Senate Bill 1547. The Commission developed and issued rules for the program in June of 2017, and is currently in the midst of implementing the program specifics with Stakeholders, and working to issue an RFP for an entity to administer the program.
Renewable Portfolio Standards Rulemaking
Docket: AR 610
Senate Bill (SB) 1547 included several important changes to Oregon’s Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS); increasing its overall amounts and adjusting the kinds of renewable energy credits that can be used to comply with the legislation.
The Commission has opened this rulemaking and scheduled workshops to have an initial discussion about the structure of changes to RPS planning and compliance rules associated with the passage of SB 1547.  SB 1547 made several changes to Oregon’s RPS that either require specific Commission action or have highlighted the need for Staff to revisit and clarify or rework existing rules.
The scope of this rulemaking will be informed by stakeholder participation. Staff proposes an open discussion but has identified several areas that we believe need to be addressed. To break the rulemaking down into manageable “chunks,” Staff’s initial proposal is that the rulemaking be separated into the following four categories: Removal of the Solar Capacity Standard, Incremental Costs associated with RPS compliance, Implementation Plans, and the Bundling of Renewable Energy Certificates.
Resource Value of Solar investigation
Docket: UM 1716
The Resource Value of Solar (RVOS) refers to the value of the benefits solar generation brings to the utility system and electricity ratepayers in general. In UM 1716, the Commission is examining the elements that should be included in a Resource Value of Solar calculation, with support from an outside consultant and through a contested proceeding during which many stakeholders presented multiple rounds of testimony. The Commission has adopted the following 11 elements for each utility to consider as it calculates the Resource Value of Solar on its system:
Energy, Generation Capacity, Transmission and Distribution Capacity, Line Losses, Administration, Integration, Market Price Response, Hedge Value, Environmental Compliance, RPS Compliance, and Grid Services.
The Utilities have filed individual RVOS proposals in dockets UM 1912 (PGE), UM 1910 (PacifiCorp), and UM 1911 (Idaho Power). The RVOS will be utilized in the Community Solar process to help determine how Community Solar rates will be set for program participants. In the future, the RVOS may have other applications. UM 1716 is an open docket.
PGE Application to lower standard price and contact eligibility CAP Solar QFs
Docket: UM 1854
In Oregon, smaller producers of energy, including renewable energy resources, may use a federal law known as the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act, or “PURPA” to sell energy to regulated utilities at a specific price. These contracts come in two categories; fixed price standard contracts and non-standard contracts. Historically, the fixed price contracts have been offered to smaller providers of energy. For PGE, providers of projects that are smaller than 10MW may qualify for these fixed price standard contracts. Through UM 1845, PGE has asked the Commission to lower this threshold for Solar projects.
PacifiCorp's nonstandard avoided cost investigation
Docket: UM 1802
In Oregon, smaller producers of energy, including renewable energy resources, may use a federal law known as the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act “PURPA” to sell energy to regulated utilities at a specific price. This specific price is called the “avoided cost.” In UM 1802, the Commission is examining the nature of the renewable energy avoided cost calculation. This is a contested case. Stakeholders have offered multiple rounds of testimony.
Northwest and Intermountain Power Producers Coalition vs. PGE
Docket: UM 1805
In Oregon, smaller producers of energy, including renewable energy resources, may use a federal law known as the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act “PURPA” to sell energy to regulated utilities at a specific price, according to a standard or non-standard contract. UM 1805 involves a complaint filed on behalf of energy producers against PGE. The complaint alleged that PGE improperly interpreted its standard contract length. The Commission issued a ruling resolving the contract length issue.