At a packed public participation hearing today for Southern California Edison (SCE)’s general rate case, the national advocacy organization Vote Solar urged regulators not to approve $2.7 billion in unjustified energy system upgrades being proposed by the utility. Vote Solar noted that these costly upgrades can be deferred or avoided altogether with smart planning and operation of local solar power and other distributed clean energy technologies.
Following is a media statement from Vote Solar and SEIA on the SCE rate case:
“There is no reason to burden SCE customers with costly investments to reinforce an outdated energy system when we could instead meet Southern California’s energy needs more affordably with a smarter approach to grid planning and operation that takes full advantage of the suite of modern clean energy and communications technologies available to us today,” said Jim Baak, grid integration program director for Vote Solar. “California has a proud tradition of leading the nation on solar and renewable energy, and our communities and our climate need that leadership now more than ever. This rate case represents an opportunity for the CPUC to show that California is committed to leading the charge when it comes to clean energy innovation.”
As part of its bi-annual general rate case, Southern California Edison (SCE) is currently seeking permission from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to spend roughly $9.6 billion over the next three years on upgrades to its electric distribution system. At today’s public hearing in Long Beach, Baak delivered findings of an expert witness representing Vote Solar and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) showing that $2.7 billion of the proposed investment can be deferred or eliminated altogether. Instead, Vote Solar and SEIA recommend that SCE continue to work with the parties in the state’s Distributed Resource Planning (DRP) proceeding to determine the optimal locations for grid modernization investments and the relative cost-effectiveness of utility owned versus third-party owned energy assets.
“It’s important to us that customers are informed about these proposals and their implications,” said Sean Gallagher, vice president of state affairs for the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “What Southern California Edison has put forth is premature, excessive and unnecessarily costly for California’s families. By embracing solar’s benefits and embarking on a path of smart forward-looking planning, California will continue to lead the way in our nation’s clean energy future.”
About Vote Solar: Vote Solar is a non-profit organization working to foster economic development and energy independence by bringing solar energy to the mainstream nationwide. Learn more at www.votesolar.org
About SEIA®: Celebrating its 42nd anniversary in 2016, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA® is building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to champion the use of clean, affordable solar in America by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org
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