On 1/12/2021, the Oregon Public Utility Commission approved revisions to the Oregon Community Solar Program Implementation Manual. The updated changes included but were not limited to:
- Clarification to Project Manager Definition
- Project Manager Marketing Disclaimer Language Update
- Alternative Payment of Program Fees update
- Correction to Bill Crediting Rules and Annual Bill Credit Reconciliation Policy
Project Managers are encouraged to carefully consider the appropriate subscription size for their customers and may adjust subscription sizes at any time to avoid customer oversubscription payments, so long as this is consistent with participant contracts. The Program Administrator will review the process for monitoring consumption and adjusting subscription sizes for new customers during the next Project Manager workshop scheduled for early March.
The new Program Implementation Manual can be found on the Program Implementation Manual page.
For your reference, the following version of the Program Implementation Manual includes the final redlines resulting from comments we received from and meetings we held with Project Managers, stakeholders, and the utilities in Q4 2020. As a reminder, we emailed you the updated language in Section 6.3—relating to the annual reconciliation process and treatment of oversubscribed capacity—on December 18, 2020 for your review.
This new version will be presented to the Oregon Public Utility Commission for approval on 1/12/2021. If you have any questions, please reach out to [email protected].
The following is the updated Program Implementation Manual which includes new language to describe the most recent program developments and policy requirements.
If you have any comments or questions, please reach out to [email protected].
(Originally posted 10/2/20; Updated 11/4/20)
OPUC Staff is requesting, by October 13, 2020, stakeholder feedback on proposed revisions to the Community Solar Program (CSP) Program Implementation Manual (PIM).
The PIM is an outward-facing document that explains program participation requirements for Project Managers and Participants. The PIM is necessarily subject to revisions over time as new issues arise and are resolved throughout program implementation. The PIM was last updated on December 23, 2019. The Program Administration Team is now recommending another PIM update to memorialize decisions made during the past nine months of program implementation, as well as to correct and clarify existing language in the PIM. The program is seeking public comment on the proposed PIM revisions. For your review, the proposed revisions appear as redlines in the version of the PIM linked below. The revisions are summarized on page 2 of the document:
Staff requests that stakeholders email comments on the proposed PIM revisions to the following two email addresses no later than October 13, 2020. All stakeholder comments will be posted to the CSP website.
The PIM revisions will be presented to the Commission for approval as early as the November 3, 2020, public meeting.
Stakeholder feedback submitted in response to Program Implementation Manual Revisions
The Program Administrator’s proposed changes to the Program Implementation Manual Revisions was posted to the UM 1930 Docket on 9/29/2020. The Program Administrator requested stakeholders to provide comments and feedback to the proposed revisions. Below are the comments submitted by the following stakeholders
Updated Program Implementation Manual Released
The Program Administrator requested stakeholders to provide comments and feedback to proposed changes to the Program Implementation Manual revisions. After considering all posted comments and feedback the Program Administrator has revised the Program Implementation Manual accordingly. The updated version of the manual is posted here.
The Oregon Community Solar Program Administrator has selected an interconnection consultant, EN Engineering, who is now able to provide 3rd party interconnection reviewer services to Project Managers. Project Managers may request either a standard or enhanced review of interconnection study results ahead of implementing a CSP project, with standard reviews partially paid for by the CSP Program. The OPUC staff report outlines the interconnection services EN Engineering can provide to Project Managers.
To request interconnection reviewer services, please contact [email protected].
Visit the Project Manager Resources page for more interconnection resources, such as:
- Interconnection Guide – Walks Project Managers through the process of sizing, prepping the interconnection package, and the entire interconnection preview process
- PGE’s Eligible Feeder Capacity
- PAC’s Eligible Feeder Capacity
The Oregon Community Solar Program Administration Team
The low-income threshold has changed, as it always does on October 1st. Below, you may find several updated LI documents, an activity report, as well as program resources from our recent PM workshop.
- LI Participant Brochure (.pdf)
- LI Participant Flyer (.pdf)
- LI Subscriptions FAQ (.pdf)
- LI September Recruitment Report (.pdf)
- PM Marketing Best Practices (.pdf)
- PM Social Media Best Practices (.pptx)
- PM Web Page Text Template (.doc)
- PM Web Page Wireframe Sample (.pdf)
We’ve also created a video about the program, viewable at the provided link and below.
As always, if you have questions, comments, or feedback, please reach out to us at [email protected]. Thank you!
Below are the Program Administrators’ responses to some questions received about our recently released Request for Proposal. Please see our last news post for more information about the RFP.
Task 1.2 – Deliverables reads: Participation and attendance at meetings between PM and utility staff as requested by the PM. How many meetings do we budget for? Are the meetings virtual?
Meetings will vary depending on the specific situation and the Consultant’s findings after reviewing each specific Utility Impact Study. However, to be as efficient and streamline the process as much as possible, the PM and Consultant should strive to have as few meetings with utility staff as needed while still meeting all goals. Consultant should expect that most Utility Impact Studies will include an average of 2-3 meetings with utility staff and the PM. Consultant should expect virtual meetings to be the standard practice with an occasional in-person meeting (but not for every Utility Impact Study and not while quarantine is still in effect).
Task 1.2 – Deliverables also reads: Other deliverables and due dates as agreed upon between PM and Consultant. This is an open ended commitment, what is the expectation of Other deliverables and due dates?
This is purposefully open ended as it depends on the findings of the Utility Impact Study. Consultant should be reviewing and potentially providing alternative pathways forward to the Utility Impact Study (Task 1.1), so additional deliverables are likely to only result if utility staff disagrees with the alternative pathways. The Consultant should expect to work closely with the PM to determine the best path forward, including additional deliverables in this case. In the case that additional deliverables are needed that go beyond the scope that the respondent outlines in the RFP response, then it will be on a Time and Materials basis under “hourly” consulting. In other words, we recognize it can be difficult to plan ahead for every possible scenario, so items that fall outside of scope will not be limited to the capped budget.
Task 1.2, page 6, reads: The consultant must attend a MINIMUM of two meetings as required by PM. Are the meetings teleconferences? MINIMUM is an open ended commitment, can it be changed to MAXIMUM?
Two meeting is the minimum required for each Utility Impact Study. However, if there are significant disagreements and/or issues found, this can escalate into additional meetings with utility staff. Similar to our response to question 1.2b, anything that goes beyond the scope will be on a Time and Materials basis under the “hourly” consulting.
Task 1.3, page 6, 1st paragraph talks about using a standardized template for the report to OPUC. Can a copy of the template be provided?
The template is being developed in coordination with OPUC and will be provided after contracting is set up. Preliminarily (but not finalized), we are thinking the template will include 4 parts: 1. Summary of the challenges; 2. Summary of the solutions and discussions with utility staff; 3. Insights into the utility process; 4. Any insights or proposals for process reform.
Task 1.3 – Deliverables reads: Report to the OPUC which summarizes the results of the review and documents utility coordination effort…. Is the intent that the report developed in Task 1.1 plus utility feedback in Task 1.2 be combined for the Task 1.3 report?
Correct, Task 1.3 is essentially summarizing all the efforts and information from Tasks 1.1 and 1.2 into a larger report.
Task 1.3 Deliverables reads: Other deliverables and due dates as agreed upon between PM and Consultant. This is an open ended commitment, what is the expectation of Other deliverables and due dates?
We expect that additional deliverables would be what is described in the 2nd paragraph under Task 1.3: “In addition to developing and delivering the report to OPUC, Consultant shall also ensure all reviewed materials and documentation of coordination with the utility will be available to OPUC and the PA Team. If Consultant does not receive at least 10 requests to review studies within the duration of the contract—including at least one study from PGE and PAC—OPUC and the PA Team may ask the consultant to review a sample of publicly posted studies and report to the Commission, in an audit-like capacity.”
We expect that additional deliverables beyond this are likely to be related to expanding upon / clarifications on what is delivered in the report to OPUC.
Task 1.4 – Deliverables reads: Bi-weekly status updates…. Is the format to be via email or teleconference?
Consultant should expect to have regular meetings with PA Team to check-in which would suffice the bi-weekly status updates (teleconference check-ins). However, there may be situations with little to report, so email would be acceptable as an update.
Task 2.1: What modeling software is needed to re-create utility analysis using the models provided by utility or third party models? CYME, PSSE, PSLF, Synergi?
This is open ended and is reliant on the Consultant’s expertise and/or recommendations. In other words, we are relying on the Consultant’s expertise to recommend what modeling software, methodology, etc.
Are all the generators proposing distribution interconnection? Or also transmission?
We anticipate that all CSP projects will propose distribution-level interconnection. CSP Projects are all Oregon-jurisdictional distribution-level generators.
Energy Solutions, in partnership with the Oregon Public Utility Commission, has released the Request for Proposal for 3rd Party Interconnection Reviewer Services for the Oregon Community Solar Program. The following is a description of the objective and purpose of the RFP, the associated deadlines, and instructions for submittal.
RFP for 3rd Party Interconnection Reviewer Services
Request for Proposal
Release date: 6/15/2020
Submission deadline: 6/30/2020
The purpose of the request for proposal is to hire independent third-party interconnection review services for the Oregon Community Solar Program. Energy Solutions is seeking qualified organizations capable of performing interconnection studies necessary ahead of implementing a CSP project. Most interconnection studies will consist of a review of utility system impact studies and coordination between utility engineers and CSP Project Managers (PM). However, more in-depth assistance may be required. These more comprehensive reviews will require additional analysis, including recreation of utility system studies.
The complete RFP can be found here.
|June 19, 2020
|June 23, 2020
|June 30, 2020
|Select winning bid(s)
|July 7, 2020
|Finalize contract and launch services (target date)
|July 22, 2020
Questions should be submitted to [email protected] no later than June 19, 2020 at 5 p.m. PST with the title 3rd Party Interconnection Reviewer Services.
Final proposals should be submitted in PDF format to [email protected] no later than June 30, 2020 at 5 pm PT.
For all other non-RFP program questions, contact 1-800-481-0510 or [email protected].
Dear stakeholders and project managers,
The Oregon Community Solar Program is working to minimize disruption to our program during the coronavirus outbreak.
We do not anticipate the current situation to broadly impact the timelines of the Oregon Community Solar Program. Oregon Public Utility Commission staff and the program administration team are working remotely on program implementation, and the Program’s call center remains open during its normal hours. All public meetings held by the Commission will be conducted remotely over the phone until further notice.
We do understand, however, that the ongoing situation will impact project development timelines and may affect a range of activities including permitting, construction, and customer outreach and engagement. As we learn more about the duration and severity of the crisis, the program administration team and OPUC staff will work with project managers to understand how projects are impacted and will explore the appropriate steps to ensure the successful rollout of the state’s community solar projects.
Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the impact of the current situation on the program or on specific projects.
The Oregon Community Solar Program Administration Team
The Oregon Community Solar Program (CSP) interconnection implementation plans and OPUC Staff Report will be discussed at the Oregon Public Utility Commission’s Special Public Meeting on January 16, 2020. Please see meeting details here.
The OPUC Staff Report and the utility implementation plans detail the near-term implementation of the six interconnection recommendations that were adopted by the Commission in early November, including the establishment of a separate CSP interconnection queue. Generators with an existing position in the traditional serial queue may transition to the CSP interconnection queue between January 20 and January 31, 2020 and new generators may apply beginning February 3, 2020. The full Staff Report can be accessed here. Please note that interconnection requirements are subject to change based on the outcome of the Special Public Meeting and approval of the utilities’ interconnection tariffs at the February 25, 2020 Public Meeting.
As a reminder, projects that do not qualify for the designated project carve-out must complete a System Impact Study or pass a Fast Track screening process with their utility prior to applying for pre-certification on January 21, 2020. Projects that qualify for the carve-out must only provide documentation that they have paid the required interconnection study deposit.
Additionally, the Request for Information (RFI) for third-party interconnection review services is now available and responses are due no later than February 11, 2020. Potential bidders may register here and login to search for the RFI # PUC-1036-20.