Posted by: jbarnesca | March 23, 2011

Utilites Desire MPR as Rate For SB 32 FIT Program

The initial briefs are filed for comments on the upcoming ruling of the long awaited SB 32 FIT program.  Amazingly, this was enacted at the end of the California legislative session in about September 2009 and has been delayed by powerful parties every since that enactment.

This was once thought to be the main driver for distributed utility solar development in the 1.5-3MW range, as it possessed some attributes of a FIT program as was known to work in Europe and elsewhere. 

Of course setting a known rate for the PPA with a somewhat guaranteed acceptance guarantee(must take) was a key to an explosive DG effort.  Many of us had hoped  that program would have produced several MW (up to 750MW for this program) in a short time and not several years from now.

From discussions and after reading the briefs submitted, it is apparent that the Utilities desire the rate to be the MPR table.

Here is the PG&E suggestion:

So at this moment I would bet that the rate will be enacted EXACTLY as the utilities desire at the MPR table rate.  This program would still have some advantage in that you might be able to have a “must take” provision; however, there are words in some of the briefs that allow for the utilities to have ways to reject proposals for various viability calculations and procedures.  This seems reasonable to a large extent to weed out the bogus applications.

In summary we now have RAM programs for all efforts under 20MW in place with a very tough reverse auction to win under and then the SB 32 program at the MPR table.

All of this portends that you must have costs to compete at the MPR table  PPA rate, and all increased pricing over that natural gas rate is gone.  Get competitive or you will have no solar PV farms to build.

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Responses

  1. Interesting, too, that SCE recently announced 711MW with SunPower, to be online by the end of 2016 – and the prices are below the 2009 MPR.

  2. These huge projects that are to come on line later than 2015 are really appalling, when we could have so many 3-20MW and 50MW projects come on line in the next two years(even with the awful cluster IA process). All the state legislature needs to do is just give those projects some assurance of a PPA rate at any reasonable level.

    • Actually here is the posted 2009 schedule for that MPR rate, before TOD adjustment, for those that don’t know what we are talking about.

      For 2016 operation and a 20 year contract, MPR rate is $0.116/kWh.


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