Solar Industry Quotes Andrew Moratzka and Sara Bergan on Delay of Adoption of Value in Solar Tariff in Minnesota

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Partner Andrew Moratzka and attorney Sara Bergan were quoted in Solar Industry magazine in an article titled “Minnesota PUC Passes On Value Of Solar, But Likely Not For Long.” The article discusses the value-of-solar (VOS) calculation for the electrical rate for a community solar garden (CSG) derived by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and their decision to not apply it for the first case involving a potential VOS-based tariff.

The VOS tariff was under consideration for application to Xcel Energy’s CSG program—solar installations for which subscriptions are sold to utility customers, both businesses and homeowners, who are unable to host solar arrays on their own properties. The inability to decide on a proposed additional incentive resulted in the PUC decision, meaning Xcel’s CSG program will go forward with applicable retail electricity rates, though the commission says the VOS tariff and incentive will be applied when they are approved.

"There is still momentum around setting the VOS right and trying it," said Bergan. "It has been such a meticulous, thorough process that it wasn't the time to just jump in with an additional incentive that hadn't really been carefully thought through."

Moratzka said that in this case solar developers said they could finance CSGs in Xcel’s service territory using the applied retail rate. "And if you set it, there is a statutorily mandated switch from the applicable retail rate to the value of solar rate," said Moratzka. "The commission previously engaged in an extensive discussion when establishing the applicable retail rate. So, the commission was very careful."

Read “Minnesota PUC Passes On Value Of Solar, But Likely Not For Long,” published August 11, 2014. (Subscription required.)

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