Posted by: jbarnesca | February 14, 2010

Update on CA Distributed Solar PV programs for 2010

During the first two quarters the California Public Utilities Commission has worked hard to deliver on several new rulings regarding solar programs for 2010 and beyond.  Their quarterly summary is a nice overview of the status/progress and schedules for new rulings.

The summary chart for these programs, that I had posted earlier now should have a another Q2 update.  Of particular note for the near term are the upcoming rulings on the SB 32 FIT program regarding a price adder for “being green” and the possible expansion of new solar programs following the energy division staff’s proposal from last March.  That ALJ ruling is the one  that led to the “reverse auction mechanism RAM” proposal and series of responses from many parties.

Program Name                    Attributes of Program                   Comments

SCE, PG&E, SDG&E Yearly RPS solicitations.   No interest or time for <50MWp programs from the past, but in 2009 CPUC reported 4TWh of the solicitation from solar PV in the <20MW capacity range. Maximum PPA price at the MPR table. Some money for overages each year. Deals made in the $0.13-$0.15/kWh deal from the past reported
SCE 500MW solar program 250 MW owned by SCE with price recovery at $0.26/kWh, their stated LCOE in application to CPUC.  250 MW over 5 years for IPP bids.  Must in general be <2MWp and on roofs . TOU payment schedule used. 250 IPP max payment over the year at $0.26/kWh; however application is going to allow a reverse auction process for the bids . Hints of “red Google” regions of 2-3MW capacity posted.   A “project viability criterion” can be used to reject applications.
SDG&E 50MW solar program Small 50MW total allowed for IPP bids. Program approval delayed because of technology study components. With 5MW each year, a very small window for winning a bid. Also strong 2-axis tracker and CPV desires from SDG&E.
PG&E 500MW solar program 250MW for IPP bids.  Plants from 1.5-20MWp possible.  PG&E recovery allowed  at installed cost of $4.27/Wp; however PPA rate cap at $0.246/kWh.  First year RFO will be at 50MW max. TOU schedule payment used. CPUC approved a reverse auction to follow the final ruling of the SCE program.  Final approval April 22nd. Follows much of SCE program language and requirements. Expect winning bids by late fall.
SCE, PG&E,SDG&E CPUC FIT program approved in 2009, but not finalized as yet. For distributed solar in the 1.5-10MW range with simplified approval and connection processes to be developed.  1GW program proposed. CPUC proposed a “reverse auction mechanism  RAM”.  No guarantee of PPA price.  Ruling by Q2 2010 expected.
SCE, PG&E,SDG&E, other regulated Utilities in California SB 32 FIT rate program.  This program for 2010 is new with a 1-3MW range Market Price Referral Table plus attributes for green.  Est $0.15/kWh


  1. Hi John,

    I was curious if SDGE had approved the proposed RAM like SCE or is this still not determined? Has the 50MW capacity been set or are they trying to allot more generation capacity to utility scale solar? Many thanks.


  2. Mike,
    Yes SDG&E has in their advice letter for their proposal. I am extremely busy with so many March 31 deadline GIP proposals that I have not looked at that document.

    I could not copy stuff here from the .pdf of that advice letter 2232-E from SDG&E

    They are proposing to combine two programs into this program, and it is a little complicated.

    Sorry for my busy schedule for this week.

    Send me an e-mail to and I will send the advice letter pdf to you to read, if you like.


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