BPU To Hear Value Of Solar Study

COUNTY News:

Utility Financial Solutions, LLC  (UFS) will present a study on the value of solar (VOS) and how to quantify the benefits that distributed solar generation creates for the Department of Public Utilities.

The presentation is scheduled at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16 at the Board of Public Utilities’ meeting in Council Chambers, 1000 Central Ave. in Los Alamos. No Board action is planned.

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s website, VOS “refers to methods used to determine the market value of distributed photovoltaic projects.” Looking at factors such as the impact customer-owned photovoltaic systems have on both the distribution system and the community’s power supply, as well as any environmental or social benefits, UFS will present one or more methods to the BPU to determine the VOS market value of distributed photovoltaic generation. BPU will use this information to determine if DPU should draft an ordinance for a value-of-solar tariff (VOST) as an alternative to its existing net metering policy. Excluding the fixed charges, a VOST measures only the amount of energy a customer sells to the utility, and the amount of energy the utility sells to the customer and the rate of value for the energy.  

BPU directed the DPU at the March 16, 2016 board meeting to consider whether or not a value-of-solar tariff should be a part of the reimbursement rate structure for customers with photovoltaic generation systems. This charge stemmed from a citizen ad-hoc committee – Future Energy Resources (FER) Committee – that was formed in 2015 to assist the BPU to define the term “carbon neutral,” recommend future energy generation resources, as well as recommend policy for distributed generation resources. Recommendations, including developing a VOST, were presented to the BPU by the FER Committee in a July 7, 2015 Future Electrical Energy Resources Report available on the DPU website www.losalamosnm.us/utilities.  

The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) operates the county-owned electric, gas, water & wastewater systems under the jurisdiction of the Board of Public Utilities. The Board meets the third Wednesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. and the public is always welcome. The DPU is funded by rates paid for electric, gas, water and wastewater services and auxiliary fees, and has provided the community with these services for more than 40 years.  DPU@lacnm.us | 505.662.8333 | www.losalamosnm.us/UTILITIES.

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