The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Vote Solar filed testimony with the California Public Utilities Commission on Southern California Edison’s grid modernization proposal and issued the following statements. CPUC is weighing SCE’s grid plan, which is part of its general rate case proposal filed last fall. The Commission is scheduled to hold public hearings on the rate case next week. The solar industry and advocates released the following statements:
Sean Gallagher, SEIA’s Vice President of State Affairs:Major Southern California Edison proposes billions of dollars of grid modernization investments that are premature, excessive, and fail to provide sufficient benefits to its customers. SCE is underestimating the positive and exaggerating the negative impact of distributed energy. Edison’s proposal is extremely costly and would not take full advantage of distributed energy resources to limit costs to ratepayers, the worst of both worlds for Californians in its territory. We encourage the CPUC to weigh these facts. It’s important for the Commission to get this right, because grid modernization investments will continue to be a significant part of future utility rate cases in California.
Jim Baak, Vote Solar’s Program Director, Grid Integration:
For many years Southern California has been a hub of innovation in bringing solar energy into the electric system. However, Southern California Edison’s (SCE) latest plan to modernize their electric distribution grid falls well short of what is needed to support the emerging low-carbon electric system that California’s governor, legislature, and voters have been advancing. Vote Solar and SEIA are filing joint testimony today, asking the Commission to reject nearly $2.7 billion in unnecessary grid upgrades proposed by SCE. SCE’s approach of over-investing in utility owned grid assets and undervaluing cleaner distributed resources will harm the burgeoning DER market and could lead to a significant amount of stranded investments, spelling higher costs for all consumers. We urge the Commission to thoughtfully review SCE’s proposed grid modernization investment plan and consider a more rational approach that supports California’s clean energy goals.