October 31, 2013
ED Tariff Unit
California Public Utilities Commission
505 Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102
Submitted electronically to EDtariffunit@cpuc.ca.gov
Subject: Récolte Energy’s Protest of PG&E Advice 4305-E Filing
Dear Energy Division Tariff Unit:
Récolte Energy (Récolte) hereby submits the following protest in response to PG&E’s Advice 4305-E Filing, dated October 21, 2013, based on the following three concerns:
1. Definition of “adjacent”
2. Method of computing proportionate allocation for each billing period
3. Effective Date of PG&E’s Advice 4305-E Filing
1. Definition of “adjacent”
In anticipation of a tariff enabling load aggregation becoming imminently available, Récolte spoke to PG&E to determine whether a particular customer would qualify for load aggregation, given the tariff’s eligibility requirements.
During this discussion, PG&E made clear that it is defining the term “adjacent” to mean immediately adjacent, rather than near. According to PG&E, if there are three parcels A, B, and C, and A abuts B, and B abuts C, but A and C are separated by B, then the loads of meters on A and B can be aggregated to be offset by generation on A, but the loads of meters on C cannot.
PG&E’s interpretation is not supported by the intent of SB 594, nor by the text in PU Code Section 2827 (h) (4) (A) on Applicability and eligibility, which reads:
An eligible customer-generator with multiple meters may elect to aggregate the electrical load of the meters located on the property where the renewable electrical generation facility is located and on all property adjacent or contiguous to the property on which the renewable electrical generation facility is located, if those properties are solely owned, leased, or rented by the eligible customer-generator.
The intent of SB 594 is to allow parcels that are contiguous to each other and have common ownership to aggregate the loads of all the meters on these parcels. This intent is reflected in the text in PU Code, which reads “…adjacent or contiguous to the property on which the renewable electrical generation facility is located…” Had the intent of SB 594 been to allow only contiguous parcels, there would have been no need to use the term adjacent at all.
Although PG&E has not raised this question in its advice filing, Récolte thinks it critical for the Energy Division to clarify that adjacent means “near”, and not just “immediately adjacent”, to allow all parcels that are contiguous to each other, and therefore adjacent to the renewable electrical generation facility, to be eligible for load aggregation. In the example above of parcels A, B, and C, the meters on all three parcels should be eligible for load aggregation.
Récolte further recommends that this clarification be provided immediately so there is no debate about the meaning of the term “adjacent” after PG&E’s advice filing is approved. There shouldn’t be a replay of events that occurred during the Virtual Net Metering (VNM) proceeding, when, after Decision D.11-07-031 was issued, PG&E’s interpretation of Service Delivery Point (SDP) became known and was then debated. PG&E was ultimately required to adopt a more meaningful interpretation of SDP, but the process unnecessarily delayed the implementation of VNM for the general market by nine months.
2. Method of computing proportionate allocation for each billing period.
a. PU Section 2827 (h)(4)(C) on billing allocation states:
If an eligible customer-generator with multiple meters elects to aggregate the electrical load of those meters pursuant to subparagraph (A), and different rate schedules are applicable to service at any of those meters, the electricity generated by the renewable electrical generation facility shall be allocated to each of the meters in proportion to the electrical load served by those meters. For example, if the eligible customer-generator receives electric service through three meters, two meters being at an agricultural rate that each provide service to 25 percent of the customer’s total load, and a third meter, at a commercial rate, that provides service to 50 percent of the customer’s total load, then 50 percent of the electrical generation of the eligible renewable generation facility shall be allocated to the third meter that provides service at the commercial rate and 25 percent of the generation shall be allocated to each of the two meters providing service at the agricultural rate. This proportionate allocation shall be computed each billing period.
b. Special Conditions 2.d. (Sheet 8) in Electric Schedule NEM Tariff in PG&E’s advice filing, for a customer-generator electing load aggregation, states:
For each monthly billing period, the energy (kWh) exported to the grid (in kilowatt-hours or kWh) by the Renewable Electrical Generation Facility shall be allocated to each of the Aggregated Account meters (kWh reading), as well as the Generating Account if it has load, in proportion to the electrical load (kilowatt-hours) served by those meters over that month. At the end of the month, once the allocation proportions are known, the kWh for each Generating Account meter interval will be allocated to each of the Aggregated Accounts for the corresponding interval.
c. PU Section 2827 (h)(4)(B) on Net Surplus Compensation states:
If an eligible customer-generator chooses to aggregate pursuant to subparagraph (A), the eligible customer-generator shall be permanently ineligible to receive net surplus electricity compensation, and the electric utility shall retain any kilowatt hours in excess of the eligible customer-generator’s aggregated electrical load generated during the 12-month period.
d. Section (iii) in Electric Sample Form 79-1153 (NEM Load Aggregation Appendix) states:
Customer-Generator shall permanently be ineligible to receive AB 920 net surplus electricity compensation, and PG&E shall retain any kilowatt hours in excess of the eligible Customer-Generator‘s electrical load as determined for each aggregated meter individually.
Robert Schwartz of SPG Solar brought to Récolte’s attention the problems that would arise from simply allocating current period production in proportion to the individual meters’ current period loads, as a percent of total aggregated loads, as described in 2.b. above (Special Conditions 2.d. (Sheet 8) in Electric Schedule NEM Tariff in PG&E’s advice filing, for a customer-generator electing load aggregation). At true up, some meters won’t receive their due allocations and others will have more allocated to them than justified by their loads.
According to 2.d. above (Section (iii) in Electric Sample Form 79-1153 (NEM Load Aggregation Appendix), any excess allocation would be forfeited to PG&E. This is inconsistent with 2.c. above (PU Section 2827 (h)(4)(B) on Net Surplus Compensation).
The problems stemming from allocating current monthly generation based on current monthly loads only, can be solved by allocating current period generation in proportion to the meters’ current period loads, as required by 2.a. above (PU Section 2827 (h)(4)(C) on billing allocation), after adjusting for the cumulative allocations that were made in prior billing periods.
In the Appendix, Récolte shows the problem and solution for a hypothetical case of three electricity meters with combined annual loads of 1,500,000 kWh being offset with annual generation of 1,500,000 kWh.
Récolte recommends that PG&E modify 2.b. and 2.d. above to correctly compute the proportional allocation of monthly production, as required by statutes 2.a. and 2.c. cited above.
3. Effective Date of PG&E’s Advice 4305-E Filing
“PG&E requests that this Tier 2 advice filing become effective 120 calendar days after the date of approval in order to prepare manual billing once the final program load aggregation program requirements are established, and allow for time to roll the program out internally and to PG&E’s customers.”
Récolte recommends that PG&E’s Tier 2 advice filing become effective on the date of approval.
Even if PG&E started preparing manual billing after the final program load aggregation program requirements are established, PG&E will have more than adequate time to roll out the program internally and to its customers. No project using the proposed NEMA tariff can begin development until PG&E’s Tier 2 advice filing is approved and the tariff becomes available. A project that is given notice to proceed on the date PG&E’s Tier 2 advice filing is approved has to go through design, engineering, permitting, construction, interconnection, and one billing period, before a bill will need to be prepared. This period from design to the end of the first billing period, will take at least 120 days under the most optimistic project development scenario. There is no reason why PG&E cannot use this time period to complete its program roll out.
- that the Commission clarify that meters on properties that are contiguous to each other, and therefore adjacent (near) the parcel on which the generation facility is located, are eligible for load aggregation.
- that, to avoid causing billing errors and violating statutes, PG&E revise its method of calculating proportionate allocations each billing period, by taking into account cumulative usage and production allocations, when calculating current month production allocations.
- that PG&E’s Advice 4305-E Filing become effective on the date of approval.
Thank you for the opportunity to submit comments.
Cc: President Michael R. Peevey
Commissioner Mark J. Ferron
Commissioner Michel P. Florio
Commissioner Catherine J.K. Sandoval
Commissioner Carla J. Peterman
Edward Randolph, Director, Energy Division
Karen Clopton, Chief Administrative Law Judge
Frank Lindh, General Counsel
Gabe Petlin, Energy Division
ED Tariff Unit
Service List attached to Resolution E-4610
Attachments (pages 5-8)