LA UTILITY WANTS A SOLAR FEED-IN TARIFF, NOT NET METERING
Does LADWP Want to Charge Solar Customers For Grid Access?
Chris Clarke, July 10, 2014 (KCET)
To expand its net energy metering (NEM) program beyond its current cap of 310 megawatts, which it will hit in 2016, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) would need to unbundle the rate charge on customer bills from the charge for infrastructure maintenance to protect non-solar-owning customers from paying more than their fair share, according to a recent report from LADWP to the City Council. Due to a push by the Koch brothers-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to make NEM an issue, utilities across the country are raising concerns about such a cost shift, while advocates argue rooftop solar saves ratepayers by reducing the need for new power plants and transmission lines.
LADWP wants to avoid the controversy by instead expanding its 100-megawatts-by-2016 feed-in tariff (FIT) program, one of the biggest in the U.S., because with FITs the utility pays solar owners for the electricity send to the grid but bills them for their electricity use, allowing for infrastructure maintenance charges. Third-party-ownership (TPO) companies that operate solar leasing programs are expected to object because NEM serves their business model whereas FIT and VOST programs support ownership of solar. click here for more