Salt Lake City’s 1 MW solar farm.
Solar panels on the Public Safety Building
On Monday, the Governor’s Office of Energy Development issued news that a significant agreement had been reached between parties previously at odds over how to move forward with rooftop solar development in Utah.
The main point of contention was how to compensate rooftop solar owners for the excess electricity they sell back to the utility. In November 2016, Rocky Mountain Power proposed a change in their rate structure that could make it more difficult for homeowners to afford solar panels.
Because Salt Lake City is committed to advancing clean energy and supports the growth in rooftop solar, we opposed the proposed changes to the rate structure. In other states, notably Nevada, where similar changes have taken effect, the solar industry has imploded.
At about the same time, the Governor’s Office of Energy Development stepped in, outside of the formal Public Service Commission process, to try and broker an agreement on this thorny issue. Read more
Residential solar installation (Utah Clean Energy)
In August 2014, Rocky Mountain Power’s proposed $4.65 solar fee was denied by the Public Service Commission pending a cost-benefit analysis of solar. The Public Service Commission agreed with Utah Clean Energy that Utah’s net metering law requires an evidentiary finding that the costs of Utah’s net metering outweigh its benefits, or vice versa, before the Commission can approve a rate change specifically for net metering customers. The Commission opened an investigation into the costs and benefits of Rocky Mountain Power’s net metering program, which is now underway. (source: Utah Clean Energy)
The Utah Public Service Commission is requesting comments by Friday, February 6th on the cost-benefit criteria that should be used. The Commission is specifically asking for input on four points, details are available on the Commission’s website.
Solar is a clean, renewable source of energy that has many benefits to the community, including social, environmental and economic benefits. Salt Lake City will be submitting comments encouraging a holistic assessment that includes these benefits.
Docket information, including previously submitted Public Comment, are available online.
Rules for submitting formal Public Comment (e.g., Original plus 10 copies provided to Commission) are also available online. Hard copies should be sent to:
Utah Public Service Commission
Heber M. Wells Building
160 East 300 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84114