Last week, the South Carolina Public Service Commission (SC PSC) accepted petitions by SACE and different events to rethink and rehear key points of their decision from final 12 months that will have stifled solar energy growth within the state. “At this point, we’re cautiously optimistic.”

Bryan Jacob | January 9, 2020 | All, Energy Policy, Solar, South Carolina

Last week, the South Carolina Public Service Commission (SC PSC) accepted petitions by the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) and other parties to rethink and rehear key points of their decision from final 12 months that will have stifled solar energy growth within the state.

SACE’s Solar Program Director, Bryan Jacob stated “We’re happy that the Commission realized the unique order wasn’t completely constant with the Energy Freedom Act, and that they determined to take one other take a look at the proof within the file. They’ve additionally allotted time for a further listening to on one extra matter [contract duration]. At this level, we’re cautiously optimistic.”

After a unanimous vote on January 3, the Commission issued a directive that raised the compensation solar builders will earn for the energy and capability their tasks contribute to Dominion’s electrical energy system. The unique values from November would have made Dominion’s territory in South Carolina one of many worst markets for solar within the nation. In addition, this new directive lowered an interim charge the utility will cost builders for integrating energy sources with probably variable output.

SACE suggestions, pending points

SACE had really helpful that the Variable Integration Charge (VIC) stay at zero till the utility addressed flaws within the evaluation. Rather than negating the cost completely, the Commission lowered the VIC from $2.29/MWh to $0.96/MWh as really helpful by one of many different professional witnesses. This interim worth shall be topic to “true-up” (or down) as soon as a correct integration research is carried out. The uncertainty related with this true-up should show problematic for builders making an attempt to safe financing for tasks.

But the most important problem nonetheless pending, on this case, is how lengthy the contracts must be for them to be financeable. The Energy Freedom Act licensed the Commission to approve contract phrases longer than ten years, however the unique order didn’t try this. The Commission has now voted in favor of rehearing proof concerning contract size for these Purchased Power Agreements (PPAs).

Various media shops have been masking this growth, together with:

The State, Sammy Fretwell

Utility Dive, Catherine Morehouse

PV Magazine, Tim Sylvia

Rehearing on the contract tenor ought to happen early subsequent month. Stay tuned because the story unfolds.

Click here to see where South Carolina stacks up compared to the rest of the South in our annual “Solar in the Southeast” report.

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