San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has proposed a General Rate Case (GRC) “network use charge” that would impose new costs on more than 14,000 solar power producers in the utility territory who are exporting solar energy to the grid. In response, the San Diego Solar Coalition has filed for intervenor status with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) that allows local solar firms to dispute the GRC.
The Coalition believes that these proposed new charges are an “attack on solar” and has “vowed” to protect its customers. Solar companies in the territory have combined invested more than $500M in solar electric systems and solar is the fastest growing sector in the city.
“SDG&E’s proposal wipes out 20 years of progressive energy policy in California for the benefit of the utility,” said Daniel Sullivan, a member of the San Diego Solar Coalition. He also said that the GRC proposal, if passed, will kill jobs in a dim economy.
What is interesting is the GRC proposal came following a commitment by California Governor Jerry Brown to generate 12,000 megawatts of clean energy such as solar by 2020. Brown appears to be in line with the American’s desire for more solar. According to a poll conducted in October 2011 by Kelton Research, 89 percent of Americans think it is important for the U.S. to develop and use solar energy.
“Solar power enjoys widespread, bi-partisan support both in the Capitol and among the public. One company should not be able allow to ignore the will of the people,” concluded Sullivan.