Posted by: jbarnesca | October 14, 2011

SCE CREST Program Moving Ahead After CPUC ALJ Ruling

This week there was a significant proposed ruling by ALJ DeAngeles that will finally unleash the huge amount of SCE CREST program applications  toward  passing the program criteria screens, signing a PPA, and being built within the next 12 months.

For a little background from the web site of SCE on this program as of September 13th they state:

Total program capacity allocation      247.7 MW

Approved PPAs so far(3 projects)       3.35MW

Total projects in queue for program  420.46MW

It would be fair to say this program was “just a little non successful” to say the least.  One major reason was the “non fundable” aspects of the PPA agreement and that the interconnection process based on a rule 21 type format had no real  deadlines for this serial IA process by SCE.  BTW this interconnection queue listing is not public knowledge, but we know that the applications are now approaching #600 or more.

In the ruling the ALJ ordered SCE to revise their PPA for the current CREST projects to be like their previous SPVP contract and like the upcoming extension for SB 32.  This will now allow those programs to sign a fundable PPA agreement, as long as their interconnection agreements are signed, and therefore move toward implementation in the next six months.

Here is the summary ruling:

Again this PPA will be at the 2009 MPR table with SCE TOU adder, which is a MPR rate of $0.10507/kWh for 2012 builds.

So now we are set up for the important SB 32 expansion of this program toward a statewide cap of 750 MW(for all renewable categories, baseload, non peaking as available, peaking as available) with the prior AB 1969 issues resolved.

Ruling on the SB 32 expansion from the same ALJ is due in this quarter for a CPUC commission approval in early Q1, at this moment. The SB 32 PPA was ruled to be the model proposed from PG&E, not SCE, and locational benefit adders have now been quantified in the E3 study report produced for CPUC staff.  More to follow on SB 32 later.

In summary this ALJ ruling on the AB 1969 SCE CREST program moves us forward toward an expanding FIT program in CA for projects up to 3MW as the next step with the fast approaching SB 32 expansion.

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Responses

  1. We are working with a CA city of 29,000 and attempting to provide them 4MW of solar (Believing this could be done under CMUA). SCE has kicked a fit stating that we cannot use their easements or lines. Any suggestions as to how to proceed?

  2. Question: Does SB32 increase total capacity of the California FIT from 500 to 750 MW? Where did the figure 750 MW come from?

    • Hello David,

      This was the increased limit from the prior legislation AB 1969 from the SB 32 legislation enacted in the fall of 2009. The Senate and legislature raised this limit to 750MW from the prior limit. The perspective at that time was that almost no MWs were being approved because of the low PPA rate tied to the MPR table, and the original requirement only for waste water treatement plants. That changed with subsequent legislation to involve stand alone PV projects and evolved into the SCE CREST program implementation later. PG&E and SDG&E then made changes to allow non-waste water projects and evolved their programs in different directions.

      So the legislature in 2009 saw no use of a broken program, made changes with SB 32, and also raised the limit to 750MW.

      Funny how different things are three years after those long 2009 lobbying day fights in Sacraments on this bill vs. a better defeated bill from the assembly side supported by many of us.

  3. Thank you for your reply! As I understand the Legislation in 2009 also increased maximum system size to 3 MW. Do you have any idea when the government will begin to enact this 2009 legislation? The SCE site still maintains that 1.5 MW is the maximum system size.

    • David,
      The 2009 new expansion program SB 32 does indeed up the capacity to 3MWac and makes other significant changes to the earlier programs for SCE, PG&E and SDG&E.

      It is scheduled for implementation in the early spring of this year 2012.


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