21. Refunds of Other Incentives - California Solar Initiative and Small Generator Incentive Program

SB 32 added subsection (k) to § 399.20 to require owners of eligible generation facilities to refund any incentives received from the California Solar Initiative (CSI) or the Small Generator Incentive Program (SGIP) before participating in the FiT Program. SB 2 1X made no changes to subsection (k). Parties commented on implementation of this provision.

Most parties agreed that refund of any incentives was appropriate prior to participating in this program but presented different proposals on how to implement and calculate such refunds. The calculation of an appropriate refund is sufficiently complicated and case specific that we find a reasonable approach is to adopt PG&E's proposal articulated in its November 2011comments.

Specifically, PG&E suggests that customers who participate in the CSI or SGIP be required to provide the benefits of their distributed generation installation for a period of ten years and that these customers be held to that commitment, for which they have been compensated. PG&E further suggests that instead of establishing an incentive refund structure, participants in the CSI or SGIP be ineligible for the § 399.20 FiT Program for 10 years from the date they first received the incentive. Upon completion of the 10-year commitment, if they are otherwise eligible, CSI and SGIP facilities can then participate in the § 399.20 FiT Program. Likewise, PG&E suggests that net-energy metering customers be ineligible for the § 399.20 FiT Program. Net-energy metering customers that prefer the FiT price for exports must first terminate their participation in net-energy metering.

We adopt PG&E's proposal. A generator that previously received incentives under CSI or SGIP can participate in the § 399.20 FiT Program and will owe no refund if it has been online and operational for at least ten years from the date it first received the incentive. Net-energy metering customers can participate in the § 399.20 FiT Program but must first terminate participation in net-energy metering.

Accordingly, PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E shall add a provision reflecting the eligibility to participate in the § 399.20 Fit Program based on past participation and receipt of CSI and SGIP incentives in the FiT Program standard form contract and/or tariff that is being developed in this proceeding in accordance with the schedule set forth in the January 10, 2012 ALJ ruling. The Commission will review this provision submitted by the utilities and, in a separate decision accept, reject, or modify the provision. Related FiT tariff modifications will also be addressed in this separate decision.

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