California pulls plug on rooftop solar


From pv magazine USA

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has unanimously voted to approve Net Energy Metering 3.0 (NEM), slashing payments for excess solar production sent to the grid by 75%.

The CPUC voted to cut the average export rate in California from $0.30/kWh to $0.08/kWh, making the cuts effective from April 15, 2023. Customers who have new systems installed and approved for grid interconnection before the effective date in April will be grandfathered in to NEM 2.0 rates.

The commission said the balancing of costs and benefits continue to be “quite generous” under the decision. Currently, average net metering rates range from $0.23/kWh to $0.35/kWh, and the new proposed decision cuts those rates to an average of $0.05/kWh to $0.08/kWh. This is set to be the largest cut of export rates in US history, in a market that represents roughly 50% of the nation’s residential solar market.

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Payments were cut as a result of a reported cost shift where non-solar owners cross-subsidize solar owners for maintaining the grid. The utility-backed concept suggests poorer Californians are paying higher utility rates to pay for lost profits that utilities endure in order to pay solar owner for delivering clean energy to the grid.

pv magazine print edition

The current print edition of pv magazine visits Ukraine to examine the extent of damage caused to the nation’s energy infrastructure, including its solar plants, and includes coverage of how PV has been affected in the newly-liberated region of Kherson.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that for the vast majority of US states and utilities, the effects of distributed solar on retail electricity prices will likely remain negligible for the foreseeable future. The study showed that distributed solar “likely entails no more than a $0.03/kWh long-run increase in US average retail electricity prices, and far smaller than that for most utilities.”

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