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News Release
Community Solar Program Progresses in Oregon, PUC Approves Final Program Implementation Manual - 01/02/20

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) met a key milestone in the Community Solar Program by approving the final Program Implementation Manual at a public meeting on December 17 in Salem. This decision allows Project Managers to prepare their program applications for submittal later this month.

Electric utilities and independent third parties, such as municipalities, homeowner associations, public agencies, community organizations, tribes, and others, are encouraged to review the updated manual at https://oregoncsp.org/p/ProgramImplementationManual/ to learn more about Oregon Community Solar policies.

The Program Implementation Manual includes the following:

  • Project Manager policies – registration, eligibility, restrictions, and code of conduct
  • Program requirements – sizing, siting, interconnection, permits, and registration of RECs
  • Pre-certification and certification – application details, process, amendments, and managing participants
  • Project participation and billing – data exchange between Program Administrator and utilities, participant utility bill, subscription transfers, etc.

“The approved manual represents the culmination of many rounds of stakeholder comments and workshops, and close collaboration between PUC Staff and the Community Solar Program Administrator, Energy Solutions,” said Megan Decker, PUC Chair. “This is an important milestone in the process to implement Community Solar to enable more Oregonians to access solar generation through projects of their choice.”

Registered Community Solar Project Managers may begin creating project pre-certification applications today and may submit applications starting January 21, 2020 for pre-certification by the PUC.  Pre-certification allows Project Managers to enroll customers and begin development of their community solar projects.

Oregon’s Community Solar Program will allow customers of Idaho Power, Pacific Power, and Portland General Electric to access solar power from the generator of their choice without the need to install solar photovoltaic panels on their premises. Customers will have the option to lease or buy part of a solar project and be credited on their electric bill for their portion of generated energy even if they rent or own a home with limited solar access.

A key aspect of the Oregon Community Solar Program is a 10 percent project capacity carve-out dedicated to low-income customers. The program is designed to promote greater access to solar by reducing barriers to participation, ensuring meaningful customer benefits, and encouraging diverse participation.

In 2016, Senate Bill 1547 was passed by the Oregon Legislature, which included a directive to establish a Community Solar Program for Oregon customers of Idaho Power, Pacific Power, and PGE, the three electric utilities regulated by the PUC. The PUC administers the program in partnership with Energy Solutions, Energy Trust of Oregon, and Community Energy Project.

For additional information about the Oregon Community Solar Program and how to become a project manager, visit www.oregoncsp.org or call 800-481-0510.

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